Women's Basketball

2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | 10 NCAA Tournaments | 10 Conference Titles

Game Preview: Women's Basketball at No. 8 Tufts

Game Preview: Women's Basketball at No. 8 Tufts

Women's Basketball at Tufts
Monday, January 29—7 p.m.
Cousens Gymnasium—Medford, Mass.

Babson and Tufts will meet for the 26th time on Monday in a series that dates back to the 1982-83 season. The Jumbos hold a 15-10 edge all-time and have won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the teams.

Senior Melissa Baptista scored a game-high 23 points to help Tufts defeat the Beavers, 60-46, on January 17, 2017, in Babson Park. Giovanna Pickering '17 finished with 15 points, while classmate Taylor Russell contributed 15 points and nine boards for the Beavers. Katy Hicks came off the bench to score 10 points, while senior Lauren Dillon and junior Jacqueline Knapp each dished out four assists for the Jumbos.

Pickering and Linnett Graber '16 each scored 16 points as the Beavers rallied from a 19-point halftime deficit to beat Tufts, 58-52, on February 11, 2014, in Medford. Babson, which shot 73.7 percent in the second half, outscored the Jumbos 45-20 after the break. Liz Moynahan scored 13 points for Tufts, which shot just 30 percent for the game.

No. 8 Tufts (18-2) upped its winning streak to seven games with a 67-56 victory over Wesleyan on Saturday. Baptista finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks, while Dillon added nine points, five boards and four assists for the Jumbos, who held the Cardinals to just 31 percent shooting. Sophomore Erica Decandido (13.4 pts, 6.8 reb) is shooting 52.2 percent, Baptista (11.8 pts, 6.6 reb) has reached double figures in three straight games, and junior Jac Knapp (10.7 pts, 4.0 reb) is averaging 14.0 points over the last four contests. Tufts ranks seventh in Division III in scoring defense allowing just 47.6 points per game.

Babson (13-6) is coming off a 91-27 victory over Mount Holyoke on Saturday. First-year Katie Jones scored a game-high 14 points and junior Katherine Tamulionis added 11 points and four assists for the Beavers, who got six or more points from nine different players in the win. Junior Payton Ouimette (13.9 pts, 12.4 reb) has recorded 13 double-doubles, classmate Tea Spellacy (8.8 pts, 3.0 ast) leads the team in assists, and Tamulionis (8.2 pts, 2.7 ast) is averaging 11.3 points on 58 percent shooting over the last four games. The Green and White ranks 21st nationally in rebounding margin (+11.2) and 22nd in offensive rebounds per game (18.0).

The Jumbos, who have won 12 straight games at home, are 79-4 inside Cousens Gymnasium going back to the 2012-13 campaign. The Beavers are the only team outside of the NESCAC to defeat Tufts at home during this stretch.

Ouimette is averaging 14.0 points and 11.3 rebounds, while sophomore Emily Bonifacic is putting up 8.3 points and 6.3 boards in three games against NESCAC foes this season. The duo has also combined for 24 offensive rebounds in contests against Connecticut College, Bates and Colby.

The Green and White has connected on at least five three-point field goals in four consecutive games for the first time since 2015 over its last four outings. Babson is shooting 42.4 percent (25-of-59) during this stretch, which includes an 11-of-21 effort over its last two contests.

The Beavers are 11-1 this season when holding their opponents below 60 points.