MEDFORD – The #9 Tufts University Jumbos used stifling defense to beat the Middlebury College Panthers, 54-41, in NESCAC women's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at Cousens Gym.
The win moves Tufts to 13-0 on the season and 2-0 in the NESCAC. This marks the best start in program history. It surpasses the 2007-08 squad's 12-0 mark. Middlebury falls to 6-5 (1-1 NESCAC).
The victory also gave Jumbo head coach Carla Berube her 200th career win at Tufts. In her 11th season at Tufts, she has a 200-72 record for a .735 winning percentage.
The first half was a struggle for both offenses as Tufts led 20-18 at the break. The Jumbos shot 30 percent (7/30) while the Panthers were 29 percent (7/24) from the field.
Sophomore Hayley Kanner (Scarsdale, NY) led Tufts with nine points on 4 for 8 shooting in the first 20. Middlebury's leading scorer after one stanza was junior Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, CA) with six points. Junior Katie Pett (Saginaw, MI) had nine first-half rebounds. There were two ties and four lead changes.
Tufts' defense continued strong in the second half as the Panthers finished at just 32 percent (15/47) from the field. The Jumbos stayed at 30 percent (18/60), but they forced 15 turnovers while only committing eight of their own.
Kate Barnosky (Huntington Station, NY) finished with a team-high 12 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore Hannah Foley (Acton, MA) scored all 10 of her points in the second half. Kanner ended up with 11 points and eight rebounds. Five of the eight boards were on the offensive end.
Kirk and junior Laura Lowry (West Hartford, CT) had 10 points apiece for Middlebury. Lowry was 3 of 6 from three-point range. Kirk added 10 rebounds for a double-double. Pett finished with 15 rebounds for the Panthers to go along with seven points.
The Jumbos held a 45-38 rebounding edge, including 17-10 on the offensive glass.
Tufts returns to action next Friday at 8 pm for a NESCAC game at Bowdoin. Middlebury plays a non-league game at Suffolk on Tuesday at 6 pm.