Medford, Mass. - The visiting Trinity College Bantams shot 56.3 percent from the field (27/48), 58.3 percent from three-point territory (7/12) and 83.3 percent from the free throw line (25/30) while defeating the Tufts University Jumbos, 86-80, in a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's basketball game this evening at Cousens Gymnasium. Trinity improves to 7-12 overall and 3-3 in the NESCAC, while the Jumbos fall to 9-13 overall and 1-6 in the league.
Senior co-captain Paul Rowe (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led four Trinity players in double figures with 21 points, hitting on seven of nine field goals and all six of his free throws. Tufts, whose come-back attempt fell short in the second half, was led by 27 points from junior co-captain Jon Pierce (Belmont, Mass.).
Trinity gained control of the game late in the first half. Tufts
had held a small advantage for most of the first 13 minutes,
including a 26-22 lead after two free throws by Pierce with 7:39 on
the clock. However, the Bantams then put together a 17-2
stretch that gave them a
39-28 margin with 3:18 go to until intermission. The run included five points by Rowe.
A three-pointer by sophomore guard Ian Fels (Miami, Fla.) gave Trinity a 43-31 lead in the final minute, which Tufts cut to 10 (43-33) on the final basket of the half by Pierce. He had 11 at the break for the Jumbos and Rowe had 15 for the Bantams. Trinity finished the first half with a 66.7 shooting percentage (16/24), including five for eight on threes (62.5 percent).
Two early Jumbo baskets in the second half pulled the hosts within eight at 45-37. Trinity went on an 11-2 tear from there to lead 56-39 after a three-pointer by sophomore Salah Abdo (Chelsea, Mass.) at the 15-minute mark. The Bantam lead remained in the teens for most of the next nine minutes.
A dunk by Tufts junior Tom Selby (Madison, Wisc.) at the six-minute mark inspired the Cousens crowd and Tufts trailed by 10 (70-60). Later, the Jumbos cut the margin down into single-digits with six consecutive points making it 73-66 Trinity entering the final two minutes. Fels and classmate Brian Ford (Bronx, N.Y.) helped push Trinity ahead by 11 with six free throws, but two three-pointers by Jumbo junior Dave Beyel (Ocean City, N.J.) had Tufts within 80-74 with 53 seconds on the clock. The Jumbos came as close as five points on a lay-up by senior co-captain Aaron Gallant (Bangor, Maine) with 30 seconds to play, but the Bantams were successful enough at the free throw line to keep the hosts at bay.
Fels added 19 points to the Trinity attack, shooting six for eight from the floor. Ford added 14 points, including a seven for nine performance at the line and three steals. Freshman Chris Applegate (High Point, N.C.) led a balanced Trinity rebounding effort with six to go with five points and three blocks. The Bantams missed just 19 shots total in the game and they were 19 for 23 from the line in the second half. Pierce had seven rebounds to lead Tufts along with Selby. Beyel, who had three threes overall, scored 16 for the Jumbos. Gallant was also in double digits with 11 points and he had five rebounds. In contrast, Tufts was four for 20 from three-land (20 percent) and 12 for 18 from the line (66.7 percent) for the game. They won the battle of the boards 39-32.