Cardinals Battle Jumbos Down to the Wire, But Tufts Controls Final 7 Minutes for 57-47 Victory
Taking on Tufts Sat., Jan. 29 to bring another NESCAC road weekend to a conclusion, the Cardinals, behind the game-high 17 points of Erin Gold '11 (#25, main photo) and game-best 11 rebounds of Eileen Gaffney '12 (#30, photo insert lower left), led by no more than five (27-22, 16:53 to go in the second half) and trailed by no more than six (11-5, 9:53 remaining in the first half) as the game entered the final seven minutes. Tufts was clinging to a 36-34 advantage at the time.
A 5-0 Tufts streak over a span of 1:55 provided the homestanders with the impetus they needed to knock Wesleyan off stride, pulling ahead 46-38 with 3:53 to play. The Cardinals regained their composure and when Gaffney bagged a basket with 3:06 to go, the lead was just four 46-42. When the Jumbos surrounded a Cardinal miss with a pair of three-pointers, Tufts held the game's largest margin at 10 points, 52-42, with 1:53 to play. That proved to be the knockout punch as the Cardinals could not get closer than eight down the stretch as Tufts extended its win streak vs. Wesleyan to seven contests with a 57-47 win.
Gold connected on three of her four trey attempts in the contest to provide a bit of a spark. Wesleyan held Tufts to a 30.6 shooting percentage, the Jumbos' third-lowest figure of the season, and 57 points, just the fifth time in Tufts' 18 games (15-3 record) it has failed to notch 58 points. But a 51-30 edge in rebounds and a 14-10 turnover advantage helped the Jumbos make up for their shooting short fall as Wesleyan hit 37.8 percent from the floor, led by Kenda Harris '13, who had a 5-for-8 performance from the field as she collected 12 points.
Wesleyan moves out-of-conference for its next contest, a home game with Emmanuel Wed., Feb. 2.