BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The top-ranked Tufts University women's basketball team posted a 51-36 victory over host Bridgewater State University on Tuesday night at the Tinsley Center.
The visiting Jumbos, who are ranked #1 in both the D3hoops.com and Women's Basketball Coach Association (WBCA) Division III polls, improve to 7-0 on the season. The Bears fall to 3-4 with the setback.
Tufts' junior guard Jennie Mucciarone (North Reading, Mass.) came off the bench to score 13 points on 4 of 8 shooting including 3-for-6 from behind the arc. Junior guard Lauren Dillon (Wellesley, Mass.) posted game-high totals of six rebounds and five assists to go along with five points.
BSU junior forward Rhiana Page (Brookline, Mass.) led all player with 14 points. Page was 5-for-9 from the floor and 4-for-5 at the free throw line.
Tufts used a balanced scoring attack to jump out to 16-5 lead in the first quarter. Six different players scored for the Jumbos during the early run.
The Bears, however, responded out of a timeout with a 12-1 run to knot the score at 17-17 with eight minutes remaining in the second quarter. Junior guard Jennifer Whyte (Braintree, Mass.) highlighted the spurt with a pair of three-pointers, while Page added four points.
With the score tied at 20, the Jumbos reeled off nine straight points capped off by a pair of free throws and a three-pointer by freshman guard Erica DeCandido (North Wales, Pa.). Tufts would take a 29-22 lead into the intermission.
The Jumbos carried the momentum into the third quarter outscoring the Bears 15-6 in the period to take a commanding 44-28 lead. Tufts scored the final nine points of the quarter and held Bridgewater scoreless over the last five minutes. The visitors connected on four trifectas in the period.
Tufts extended the advantage to as many as 20 points (51-31) in the final quarter before settling for the 15-point victory.
Both teams struggled with their shooting and finished with their lowest scoring output of the season. The Jumbos shot 36% (15-42) from the floor and finished 8-for-27 (30%) from three-point range. The Bears connected on just 32% (13-41) of their field goal attempts including 2-for-13 (15%) from behind the arc.
Tufts has now held five out of seven opponents this season to under 40 points.
Of the Jumbos' 51 points, more than half came from their bench as the Tufts' reserves outscored their counterparts, 29-12, led by Mucciarone's 13 points.
Bridgewater State is off until next Tuesday night when the Bears entertain #2 ranked Amherst College at seven o'clock. Tufts travels to the University of New England on Saturday afternoon for a one o'clock.