BABSON PARK, Mass.—Junior Michelle Baptista (Somerville, Mas.) scored a game-high 23 points to help top-ranked Tufts University stay unbeaten with a 60-46 victory over Babson College in non-conference women's basketball action on Tuesday night at Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which saw its five-game winning streak come to an end, is now 14-3 overall, while Tufts improves to 16-0.
Senior Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and four assists, while classmate Taylor Russell (Braintree, Mass.) contributed 15 points and nine boards for the Beavers. Fellow senior Jennifer Narlee (Medfield, Mass.) chipped in with seven points and led all players with 12 rebounds in the loss.
Baptista was 9-of-14 from the floor and knocked down three three-pointers in addition to contributing five steals and four blocked shots for the Jumbos. Senior Katy Hicks (Canton, Mass.) came off the bench to score 10 points, while junior Lauren Dillon (Wellesley, Mass.) and sophomore Jacqueline Knapp (Westfield, N.J.) each dished out four assists.
Tufts took a 16-9 lead 33 seconds into the second quarter, but the Green and White responded with an 8-1 run. Pickering scored going to the hoop and then completed a three-point play to cut the deficit to 16-14, and Narlee followed a free throw by junior Brenna LeGacy (Attleboro, Mass.) with a bucket inside to tie the game at 17-17 with 5:16 to go until halftime.
LeGacy hit an elbow jumper for her only field goal of the night to keep the Beavers within three, but the Jumbos produced an 8-0 run over the final 1:27 of the stanza that included triples from Baptista and Hicks to build a 30-19 advantage at the break.
Tufts pushed its lead to as many as 15 early in the third quarter, but Babson pulled within 10 on three occasions, the last coming on a three-point play by sophomore Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) that made it 39-29 with 3:31 to go in the period. A free throw by Russell cut the hosts' deficit to 44-32 entering the fourth, but the Jumbos scored on their first three possessions of the quarter to extend their lead to 51-32 on a three-pointer by Baptista with 7:43 remaining.
The Beavers, who shot just 31.3 percent for the game, finished with a 47-22 edge on the glass.
The Jumbos shot 42.1 percent and knocked down seven three-point field goals in addition to scoring 26 points off of turnovers.
Babson returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Mount Holyoke at 1 p.m., while Tufts visits Wesleyan on Friday at 7 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 10-15 all-time against Tufts.
• Tuesday's contest marked the first time this season that Babson has trailed at halftime.
• The Beavers' 46 points are a season-low and marks the first time they have been held below 50 since a 55-46 loss to Springfield on January 12, 2016.
• Babson is just 1-3 this season when trailing after three quarters.