MEDFORD, Mass.—Sophomore Cailin Harrington (Westwood, Mass.) hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 57 seconds remaining to help No. 7 D3hoops.com/No. 8 WBCA Tufts University rallied to escape with a 67-63 victory over visiting Babson College in non-conference women's basketball action on Monday night inside Cousens Gymnasium.
Babson, which led by as many as 10 in the third quarter, falls to 13-7 overall, while Tufts improves to 19-2 with its 13th straight home win.
Junior Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) recorded her 14th double-double of the year with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while sophomore Jaqueline Jozefick (Milford, Mass.) finished with a season-high 11 points to go along with five boards for the Beavers. Junior Tea Spellacy (Belchertown, Mass.) chipped in with nine points and classmate Elizabeth Lane (Skaneateles, N.Y.) contributed nine points, seven rebounds and three assists.
Senior Melissa Baptista (Somerville, Mass.) led the Jumbos with 28 points and 12 assists, while classmate Lauren Dillon (Wellesley, Mass.) added nine points and a game-high four assists.
The Green and White jumped out to a quick 13-5 lead and got back-to-back hoops from Jozefick to make it 19-12 with 2:05 to go in the opening quarter. Jozefick knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key for a 28-21 lead just over three minutes into the second before Tufts ripped off a 9-1 run that included three-pointers from sophomore Sadie Otley (Charlotte, Vt.) and junior Jac Knapp (Westfield, N.J.) to grab a 30-29 lead at the 4:36 mark.
The Beavers scored six consecutive points to go back in front 35-30 at the half, and then got seven quick points from Ouimette to cap a 13-3 spurt that pushed the lead to 42-32 less than three minutes into the third quarter. Baptista willed the Jumbos back into the game though, scoring 14 of their 17 points in the frame as the hosts cut their deficit to just two entering the fourth.
Babson got back-to-back hoops from sophomore Vanessa Onwe (Tarrytown, N.Y.) and Jozefick to extend the margin back to 53-47, only to see Tufts respond with six consecutive points to pull even on a free throw by Knapp. Junior Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) hit 1-of-2 at the charity stripe to push the Beavers back in front 58-55 with 2:47 left, but Baptista and Knapp connected on back-to-back triples a 61-60 edge with 1:48 to go.
Spellacy knocked down a pair of free throws on Babson's next possession, but Harrington responded by beating the shot clock with a three-pointer from the right wing to put Tufts in front for good at 64-62 with 57 seconds remaining. The Green and White committed a turnover on the ensuing possession and two free throws by Dillon made it a two possession game with 27 seconds left.
The Beavers shot 57.1 percent from the floor in the first half, but were just 7-of-22 shooting (31.8) with 10 turnovers over the final two quarters.
Babson returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Wheaton at 7 p.m., while Tufts visits No. 1 Amherst on Friday at 7 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 15-11 all-time against Tufts.
• Despite the loss, Babson became just the fourth team this season to score over 60 points against the Jumbos, which entered the night ranked sixth in Division III in scoring defense allowing just 46.7 points.
• Prior to Monday's loss, the Beavers had been 13-0 this season when taking a lead into the fourth quarter.
• Babson is now 8-1 this season when shooting 40 percent or better from the floor.