BABSON PARK, Mass.—Babson College junior Jacqueline Jozefick (Milford, Conn.) scored a career-high 18 points, but it wasn't enough as the Beavers suffered an 80-61 loss to No. 6 D3hoops.com/No. 3 WBCA Tufts University in non-conference women's basketball action on Wednesday night inside Staake Gymnasium.
Babson, which debut at No. 5 in the initial NCAA regional rankings on Wednesday, slips to 18-4 on the year, while Tufts, ranked fourth in the region, improves to 21-2 overall.
Jozefick went 7-of-13 and scored 11 second-half points to go along with four rebounds and two blocked shots for the Beavers. Junior Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) added 10 points and seven boards, while senior Payton Ouimette (Medfield, Mass.) chipped in with nine points. Junior Vanessa Onwe (Tarrytown, N.Y.) tied for game-high honors with two steals in a losing effort.
Senior Jac Knapp (Westfield, N.J.) scored a season-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting for the Jumbos. Sophomore Emily Briggs (Canton, Conn.) finished with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, while juniors Erica DeCandido (North Wales, Pa.) and Lilly Paro (North Bethesda, Md.) contributed nine points apiece.
The Green and White trailed 12-1 less than four minutes into the contest, but made four free throws late in the first quarter and got a three-pointer from sophomore Katie Jones (Ridgewood, N.J.) on the opening possession of the second to pull within 18-13. The momentum was short-lived however, as Tufts responded with a 12-0 run to push the margin back to 30-13 with 5:53 to go until halftime.
The Beavers cut their deficit to 11 twice late in the second, the final time coming on a three-pointer by Jozefick with 23 seconds to go, but Knapp closed the first half with her third three-pointer and scored back-to-back hoops to open the third quarter to give the Jumbos a 47-29 edge. Babson got back within 14 on a bucket by Ouimette, but Tufts scored on nine of its final 10 possessions of the stanza, which included a run of four straight three-pointers, to extend its advantage to 71-45 going to the fourth.
The Green and White limited the Jumbos to just one field goal over the final 8:53 and closed the game with a 14-4 run that included four points apiece from Bonifacic and Jozefick.
The Beavers shot 38.9 percent from the floor and just 13-of-22 (59.1 percent) from the free throw line. Tufts, which shot 64.7 percent in the middle quarters, finished the game at 46.3 percent from the floor and owned a 43-30 advantage on the glass.
Babson returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Springfield at 1 p.m., while the Jumbos take on Trinity in their regular season finale on Sunday at 2 p.m.
• The Beavers are now 10-17 all-time against Tufts.
• Wednesday's loss snapped Babson's 10-game home winning streak.
• The Green and White, which entered the night ranked 13th in Division III in offensive rebounds per game, was limited to a season-low 10 in Wednesday's loss.
• The victory for Tufts was its 48th in the last 49 games against non-conference foes.