Medford, Mass. – Sophomore Kwame Firempong (Inglewood, Calif.) got the bounce on a step-back jumper from the foul line with no time remaining to give the Tufts University Jumbos a crucial New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's basketball victory, 64-62, over the visiting Trinity College Bantams this evening at Cousens Gym. The Jumbos are now 16-5 overall and 6-2 in the NESCAC, while Trinity falls to 10-10 overall and 2-5 in the league with its fifth setback in a row.
Trinity junior Mick DiStasio (Cheverus, Maine) tied the game, 62-62, with 12 seconds left on a three-pointer. The Jumbos decided not to take a timeout as sophomore Oliver Cohen (Penn Valley, Pa,) handed the ball to Firempong at the head of the key. Firempong then worked his way into the paint and faded back to 15 feet for the game-winner. Tufts trailed by seven late in the second half, 55-48, and then went on a 14-2 run over a five-minute span to take control back at 62-57. Senior captain center Chris Applegate (High Point, N.C.) hit a bucket in the paint for Trinity before the Bantams put together a defensive stand to get the ball back for DiStasio's tying three.
The Bantams scored the first seven points of the game to lead, 7-0, and they controlled much of the first half. Tufts fought back to force the first tie of the game at 19-19 with 6:36 left on a free throw by freshman C.J. Moss (Westport, Mass.). Senior James Long (Norwell, Mass.) followed with a layup to give Tufts its first lead of the night. The two teams went back and forth over the final four minutes of the half to lead to a deadlock, 31-31, at halftime.
Trinity started the second half much like the first half, running out to an eight-point lead, 45-37. The run included three-pointers by DiStasio and sophomore guard Leonard Chenfeld (New York, N.Y.). Firempong netted nine of his 11 points in the second half. Moss' 13 points, on 5 of 8 shooting, led the Jumbos. Senior Alex Orchowski (Cornwall, N.Y.) also finished in double figures with 12 points while grabbing six rebounds. DiStasio had a game-high 19 points, going 7-for-8 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from long range. Applegate had a near double-double with 18 points (9-for-11 shooting) and eight rebounds. Chenfeld chipped in with nine points for the Bantams. Both teams shot 50-percent from the field, with Trinity winning the rebounding battle, 33-24.