By Matt Noonan
NORTON, MA – Monday’s non-conference women’s basketball clash between Tufts University and Wheaton College didn’t exactly start with a bang.
Both teams missed numerous shots, as well as swapped leads, but eventually Tufts senior guard Tiffany Kornegay, (eight points, 14 rebounds, four assists) recorded two points on a layup at exactly 11:00 in the first half, which provided the Jumbos the lead, and eventually a 65-44 victory.
“It was a good win,” said Tufts senior forward Kate Barnosky. “We had to just keep our intensity. We just had two really intense NESCAC games, so it was good that we came out, everybody got in the game, I think, [and] almost everybody scored if not everyone, so it was a good win.”
Tufts’ win marks their 13th of the season, as well as six consecutive road victory, too.
“Tufts is obviously a very athletic and strong team, and we knew being down some numbers due to injuries that we’d have our work cut out for us,” said Wheaton College head coach Melissa Hodgdon. “They had 14 offensive rebounds at halftime, and we only gave up three for the second half. I couldn’t be more proud of that for an undersized, low-manned team to be able to comeback on a great Tufts team, and only give up three offensive rebounds, [which] I thought was significant.”
Barnosky, (14 points, four rebounds, two assists) built off Kornegay’s layup with a trifecta around the seven minute mark, which helped the Jumbos secure a comfortable, 33-22 halftime lead.
Tufts held Wheaton to just 9 of 24 from the field during the opening frame, as well as forced nine turnovers, which resulted in an additional five points.
“I think overall we got some good looks, and didn’t knock them down, and they’re a good rebounding team, so we didn’t get a lot of second chance points,” said Hodgdon.
The Jumbos continued their offensive dominance during the opening minutes of the second half when Barnosky sank a three-pointer, as well as two free throws before the Lyons attempted to rally with two back-to-back layups from senior forward Gabbie DePalo, who was limited to just three minutes due to a knee injury.
Although, Tufts defense once again denied any chance of a Wheaton comeback, as they held the Lyons to just nine field goals and eight offensive rebounds during the final 20 minutes, which helped the Jumbos preserve the win.
“I was just determined to get in there, and get the rebounds,” said Kornegay. “That’s part of our game to get the defensive board, and then just run in transition and get our points that way.”
Wheaton returns to the court on Wednesday when they host MIT, while Tufts will continue their three-game road trip on Friday when they travel to Connecticuit College.
For more Division III hoops coverage in Massachusetts, as well as other Boston/New England sports news – follow Matt Noonan on Twitter @NoontimeSports.