2nd round: Just Tufts enough again

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Tufts and Kelsey Morehead never led St. John Fisher in regulation, but they led when it counted.
Photo by Kelvin Ma, Tufts

For the second consecutive year, Tufts was pushed to the brink of elimination in the second round before rallying to beat St. John Fisher 71-67 in overtime.

St. John Fisher built a 10-point second half lead over No. 5 Tufts and still had 60-56 advantage with less than a minute to play. Tufts forward Michela North grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed Jumbos three-pointer, got fouled and hit both free throws. The Cardinals turned the ball over on their next possession and North hit a jumper with four seconds left to tie the game at 60.

In overtime Kelsey Morehead scored seven points, including five straight to put Tufts in front for good. North finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds while Hayley Kanner added 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Tufts will play Eastern Connecticut next since the Warriors topped Baruch 71-62. Warriors shot 50 percent from the floor (24-for-48) and 84 percent from the free throw line (21-for-25). Shannon McCourt led Eastern Connecticut with 24 points while Jill Ritrosky added 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Most of the other bids to the Sweet 16 were claimed by the top 16 teams in the country.

Eastern Mennonite hung with No. 1 Thomas More for a while before Sydney Moss took over. Moss scored 28 of her 43 points in a decisive 15 minute span and the Saints took care of the Royals 85-65. Moss added 11 rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes.

No. 2 St. Thomas held off Luther 60-57 and became the first MIAC team to go 29-0. Luther rallied from an 18-point deficit and nearly tied the game before Jenna Dokter blocked the potential game-tying shot with three seconds left. Neither team was sharp offensively with the Tommies committing 18 turnovers and the Norse shooting 5 for 37 from three.

Last Saturday No. 3 George Fox knocked Puget Sound out of the NWC tournament and tonight the Bruins ousted the Loggers from the NCAA tournament. George Fox converted 20 Puget Sound turnovers into 27 points and Jami Morris scored 22 in the Bruins' 67-49 victory.

Alyssa McDonough finished two assists shy of a triple-double in FDU-Florham's victory over the University of New England.
FDU-Florham athletics photo

No. 4 FDU-Florham continued its title defense with a 91-75 victory over the University of New England. Alyssa McDonough nearly had a triple-double with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in 39 minutes for the Devils. FDU-Florham outrebounded the Nor'easters 54-35. Kelly Coleman scored 28 points in her last game for the University of New England.

Both MIAA teams advanced with relative ease. No. 6 Calvin shot 58 percent from the field and defeated No. 25 UW-Oshkosh 91-71, giving Knights' coach John Ross a victory over his alma mater. No. 14 Hope drilled Wisconsin Lutheran 72-47 as the Flying Dutch tallied 22 assists on 26 field goals.

No. 7 Montclair State looked like it was going to advance to the next round easily as the Red Hawks built a 17-point lead on Stevenson. But the Mustangs came all the way back to take the lead 48-47 in the final minute. Sage Bennett hit a jump shot to put Montclair State back in front with 19 seconds remaining and the Red Hawks made four free throws to pull away from Stevenson, 53-48.

No. 8 Washington U. scored 24 of the final 26 points in the first half and blew past Wittenberg 80-58. Melissa Gilkey led the Bears in points (25) and rebounds (eight) in what was likely her final game at the WU Field House.

No. 9 DePauw started four guards and all of them scored double figures in the Tigers' decisive 76-53 win over No. 21 Maryville. DePauw shot 51 percent from the floor, including 13-for-21 from three.

Anna Hackett scored 21 points to help Salisbury defeat Stockton on Saturday night.
Salisbury athletics photo

No. 11 Salisbury opened the second half on a 16-4 run and rallied past Stockton for a 61-54 victory. The Sea Gulls forced 14 Osprey turnovers in the second half and Anna Hackett carried the load offensively with 21 points.

No. 12 Amherst built a 17-point lead midway through the first half at No. 17 NYU and never looked back, as the Lord Jeffs cruised past the Violets 70-47. Doswell sisters Ali and Meredith combined for 35 points for Amherst, which reached the Sweet 16 for the eighth consecutive time.

For the third year in a row Ithaca lost a heartbreaker to a NESCAC opponent, this time falling 71-66 at No. 16 Bowdoin. The Bombers held a 65-58 lead with four minutes left, but the Polar Bears held Ithaca to one point the rest of the way. Ithaca lost tight games to Tufts and Williams in the Elite 8 the past two seasons.

Geneseo State continued its quietly impressive season by handling Muhlenberg 69-54. "I'm very excited for this group," said Geneseo coach Scott Hemer. "They continue to achieve - breaking our home win-streak last night and tonight becoming the first SUNYAC team to advance to the Sweet 16 since 2001. They're such a resilient group and they keep finding ways to advance."

The three Texas teams had to wait an extra day to start the tournament because of traveling difficulties for the fourth team in the pod, Rhodes. The delay didn't hurt the ASC teams as Texas-Tyler trounced Southwestern 75-47 and Texas-Dallas rolled past Rhodes 63-38. The Patriots and Comets will play for the fourth time this season with a Sweet 16 bid on the line tomorrow.