By Brian Willwerth (@BriWillerth)
MEDFORD, Mass. – The fourth-ranked Tufts University Women’s basketball team is heading back to the Sweet 16 for the sixth consecutive year.
The Jumbos defeated Husson University, 64-44, in a second-round NCAA Division III tournament game at Cousens Gymnasium on Saturday.
The Jumbos led by four after the first quarter, as both teams came out on fire offensively. Tufts held the underdog Eagles to eight points in the second quarter, yet the margin at halftime was just ten.
But the second half was a different story.
Tufts went on a 10-0 run to start the third quarter, and outscored Husson 21-4 overall in the third quarter, to put the game out of reach. The Jumbos also dominated on the glass, with a 20-4 edge in offensive rebounds.
“We knew this was going to be a great battle,” said head coach Carla Berube. “I thought the way we came out in the third quarter was great. It’s not been our best quarter in recent weekends.”
Berube praised her team for their work in the paint, saying she felt they had an advantage inside.
Michela North had a double-double for the Jumbos: 10 points and 13 rebounds. Jac Knapp led the team in scoring with 15.
The Eagles, fresh off their first-ever NCAA victory, were hoping to pull off a big upset on the Jumbos’ home court.
“We wanted to come out and compete, and not be afraid,” said Husson head coach Kissy Walker. “The only thing I’m disappointed in is that I’ll be losing these three seniors.”
One of those seniors is Darla Morales. Playing in her last game for Husson, she led the Eagles with 15 points, all of them coming from 3-point range. Kenzie Worcester added 12 points.
Tufts will take on Scranton in the next round on Friday. A site for the third round game and time has yet to be announced, as of Saturday evening.
“We had a battle against them last year, so I’m really excited to play them again,” said North.