Women's Basketball

Women's basketball falls to nationally ranked Tufts

Lauren Getman '18 (Josh McKee photo)
Lauren Getman '18 (Josh McKee photo)

Tufts University's Emily Briggs scored 20 points and the Jumbos never trailed in their 69-53 NESCAC win against the Hamilton College Continentals at Hamilton's Margaret Bundy Scott Field House on Saturday afternoon.

Tufts (20-3, 7-2 NESCAC) is ranked seventh in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll and ninth in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association poll. The Jumbos committed just 10 turnovers.

Melissa Baptista chipped in 17 points, three assists and two blocked shots for Tufts. Point guard Lauren Dillon contributed 15 points, three assists and a game-high nine rebounds. Dillon made three of the Jumbos' four 3-pointers.

Lauren Getman '18 paced the Continentals (14-8, 2-6) with 12 points and Mia Caterisano '19 added 11 off the bench. Samantha Srinivasan '18 contributed eight points, eight boards and three assists. Hamilton shot 31.9 percent from the floor. Getman, Srinivasan and Rylie Mainville '18 played at home for the final time in their careers with the Continentals.

Tufts grabbed an early 4-0 lead and never trailed. Hamilton closed to within a point twice in the first quarter and was down by just two points at 11-9 after the first 10 minutes. The Jumbos held the Continentals to one basket and owned a nine-point cushion at 20-11 through the first seven-plus minutes of the second quarter.

An old-fashioned 3-point play by Caterisano pulled Hamilton within six with 2:02 left, but two baskets by Briggs gave Tufts its first double-digit lead at 24-14 with 30 seconds remaining. Caterisano found Getman for a layup with 12 seconds to go and the Continentals went into the break trailing 24-16.

Briggs finished the half with 14 points as neither team shot all that well. The Jumbos were 9 of 30 from the field and Hamilton was 5 of 24.

The offense picked up quickly in the second half. Tufts scored the first seven points of the third quarter and grabbed a 15-point advantage at 31-16 less than two minutes after the half. Baptista started the run with a layup, Dillon nailed a 3-pointer, and then she found Jennie Mucciarone for a layup.

The Continentals responded with a 15-3 spurt that cut the Jumbos' lead to three points at 34-31 with 3:02 left. Kendall Rallins '19 scored twice in the paint, Srinivasan made a layup, and Carly O'Hern '20 drained a pair of free throws. After Dillon canned another trifecta, Getman buried her own shot from beyond the arc and added a jumper. Rallins capped the run with two free throws. Tufts countered with a 10-1 run on jumpers by four different players in the final three minutes of the third and the Jumbos led 44-32 through 30 minutes.

Dillon dished to Katie Martensen for a jumper less than 10 seconds into the fourth quarter that made it 46-32 and Hamilton didn't get closer than seven points in the final 10 minutes. Tufts took its largest lead of 19 points twice in the final minute. Baptista, who was a non-factor in the first half, scored 14 points after halftime and Dillon added 13 in the final 20 minutes. The Jumbos shot 64 percent in the second half.

The Continentals are on the road at Middlebury College on Friday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.