This Week in Tufts Athletics: Jan 30 - Feb 5

MEDFORD – It’s a big week in Cousens for the women’s basketball team with three games on the schedule!  Men’s and women’s track and field host the Cupid Challenge on Saturday and the men’s and women’s squash teams head to Amherst for the NESCAC Championships.

Men’s basketball has a huge road NESCAC weekend coming up after a trip to UMass-Dartmouth on Tuesday.  Men’s hockey hosts Connecticut College on Friday and then heads to New London on Saturday to play the Camels again.  Women’s fencing will head to Harvard on Saturday to take on the Crimson and NYU.

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Big Week In Cousens For Women's Basketball


After being on the road for the better part of two weeks the Jumbos returned home this past Saturday to host Bates in NESCAC action.  The Jumbos picked up their seventh conference win and senior Michela North became the program’s all-time leading scorer.  So, it was a good week for the Jumbos.  The women will remain at home, with a Tuesday match up against Rhode Island College before another full weekend of NESCAC action.  On Friday the Jumbos will host Trinity with a 7 pm start before the big showdown between the No. 1 ranked Jumbos and No. 2 Amherst on Saturday at 3 pm.

First up will be the Anchorwomen of Rhode Island College, with a 7 pm start on Tuesday night.  The Anchorwomen are 5-14 overall this year and 2-7 in Little East play.  The Jumbos won last year when the two teams played and have a 6-1 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  Alex Moore is averaging 16.3 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Anchorwomen, but she hasn’t played the last two games so Tuesday night might be questionable for the guard.

After the Tuesday night game the Jumbos will turn their attention back to conference play as the host Trinity on Friday night in Cousens for a 7 pm start.  The Bantams are 11-7 this season overall and 2-4 in conference play.  They have lost their last four games, falling to Colby, Bowdoin, Smith and Amherst. The Jumbos won, 61-38, last year and have a 15-4 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999. Sophomore Courtney Erickson is the offensive leader, averaging 13.4 points per game and 7.1 rebounds per game for the Bantams.

Saturday will be a big one for the Jumbos, as they host No. 2 Amherst for a 3 pm start.  The two teams have been the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams all nine weeks of the rankings this season.  The Purple and White and Jumbos played two times last year.  The Jumbos picked up a one-point win on the road, snapping Amherst’s epic home winning streak.  The Purple and White won by one point in the NESCAC Finals in Medford.  The Purple and White ended up falling the NCAA Semifinals to Thomas More, who the Jumbos fell to in the National Championship.  Both teams are on the hunt for a NESCAC Championship and a trip to the national championship this season.  Last year’s two games were both decided by one point, 52-51 and 50-49, and this year looks to be close again. Amherst is leading the nation in scoring defense, allowing 42.5 points per game, but the Jumbos are just behind them in second place, letting teams score 44.2 points per game.  The Purple and White have a slight advantage, 14-9,  in the series dating back to 1999.

Men's & Women's Squash at NESCAC Championships

The men’s and women’s squash teams have both put together great 2016-17 seasons and they will look to keep that going this weekend as they travel to Amherst for the NESCAC Championships Friday through Sunday. Seedings will be announced this week, but its likely that the women’s team will be seeded as high as six or seventh and the men could be ninth or tenth.

The Jumbo women are currently ranked No. 18 in the College Squash Association national poll.  They sit behind No. 3 Trinity, No. 11 Williams, No. 14 Middlebury, No. 15 Bates and No. 17 Amherst.  Behind the Jumbos is No. 21 Bowdoin, No. 23 Wesleyan, No. 25 Colby, No. 26 Hamilton and No. 28 Connecticut College.  The Jumbos are 13-3 this season, and finished the first semester with a perfect 7-0 mark.  They suffered their first loss this past weekend to No. 1 Harvard, and also fell to No. 25 Colby and No. 15 Bates.  But, the Jumbos beat Colby earlier this season, and they also picked up wins against Wesleyan, Hamilton and Connecticut College this year. Trinity won the title last year, beating Williams 9-0 in the championship match.

On the men’s side, the Jumbos are ranked No. 28.  Things are a little closer on the men’s side as they have No. 2 Trinity, No. 16 Bates, No. 17 Williams, No. 18 Middlebury and then No. 22 Colby, No. 24 Bowdoin, No. 25 Amherst, No. 26 Wesleyan, No. 27 Hamilton, the No. 28 Jumbos and No. 29 Connecticut College.  The Jumbos are 11-6 this year, and they have picked up NESCAC wins over Colby, and Connecticut College, but have also fallen to Colby, Hamilton and Wesleyan. Trinity won the men’s championship last year, beating Bates, 7-2.

For both the men and the women Friday will feature three matches with the No. 9 seed taking on the No. 8 seed, No. 11 seed playing the No. 6 seed and No. 10 taking on No. 7.  Saturday is a full day with six winners bracket matches and some consolation matches.    The day starts with No. 5 playing No. 4, the winner of No. 8/9 taking on No. 1, the winner of No. 6/11 facing off with No. 3 and the winner of No. 7/10 battling No. 2.  The conference champion will be crowned  on Sunday with the title match at 3 pm.

Read more about the women’s championship here and the men’s championship here.



MBBALL: Tuesday at UMass-Dartmouth at 7 pm, Friday at Trinity at 7 pm and Saturday at Amherst at 3 pm
What you need to know: The men’s basketball team has a busy week on the road, traveling to UMass-Dartmouth on Tuesday and then to Trinity on Friday and Amherst on Saturday.  First will be the Corsairs, who are 12-7 this year and led by 12.7 point per game from sophomore Nick Portelance.  The Jumbos won last year, and have the 11-5 advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  Friday the Jumbos get back to NESCAC action, with a trip to Trinity to start a really important weekend. The Jumbos currently sit in first place in the conference standings with a 6-1 mark, but just behind them is Amherst, Middlebury and Trinity all tied with 4-2 records.  The Jumbos already beat the Panthers, but this weekend’s contests with Amherst and Trinity will likely decide the regular season winner of the conference. The Bantams are 13-7 overall most recently falling to Amherst this past Saturday.  Last year’s NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, Ed Ogundeko, is back for the Bantams and averaging 17.1 points per game, 10.8 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game.  Trinity won last year when the two teams faced off, and the Bantams have a slight, 11-9, advantage in the series, dating back to 1999.  The Jumbos out the weekend with a trip to Amherst, a team they played a ton last year.  The Jumbos won in the regular season, but then Amherst edged them in the NESCAC semifinals and the Purple and White won again in Cousens in the NCAA Quarterfinals.  The Purple and White are 14-4 but have won their last four, and they have a 14-9 advantage in the series with the Jumbos, dating back to 1999. Jayde Dawson is leading the Purple and White with 18.4 points per game.

MHOCKEY: Friday vs. Connecticut College at 7 pm and Saturday at Connecticut College at 7 pm
What you need to know: The men’s hockey team has a critical weekend with Connecticut College this Friday and Saturday.  The Jumbos host the Camels on Friday night with a 7 pm start at the Valley Forum and then hit the road to take on the Camels on Saturday night again at 7 pm but this time in New London.  The Jumbos are in seventh place in the conference standings with a 5-6-1 mark and could use two wins over the ninth place Camels to help secure their chances of making the NESCAC tournament.  The Jumbos won twice last year when the two teams faced off (4-1 and 8-1) and the series is locked at 11, dating back to 1999.  The Camels are 4-11-2 overall this season with a 2-8-2 conference record. Senior Brian Belisle is the point leader with 18 points coming from 11 goals and seven assists.  Time in goal has been split between four different goalies, but the team has a .890 save percentage and a 3.61 goals against average.

MTRACK & WTRACK: Saturday at Tufts Cupid Challenge at 10 am
What you need to know: After hosting 20 plus teams in the Gantcher Center this past weekend the Jumbos will stay home again, this time welcoming eight teams for the Tufts Cupid Challenge.  Last weekend junior Brittany Bowman ran a national top 10 time in the 3,000 meters and senior Tim Nichols ran the nation’s fastest time and a new school record in the 3,000 meters.  This weekend the Jumbos host Amherst, Brandeis, Connecticut College, Geneseo State, MIT, Wellesley and WPI.  Stampede field events behind at 10 am with the track events starting at 11 am.

WFENCE: Saturday vs. NYU at Harvard at 2:30 pm and at Harvard at 3:30 pm
What you need to know: The Tufts women’s fencing team opened their season this past weekend, traveling to Brown for the Northeast Fencing Conference Meet facing off with six opponents.  The Jumbos dropped each match, but were very competitive. Against MIT the Jumbos won 6-3 in the sabre matches as junior Bridget Marturano won all three of her matche and classmate Nayab Ajaz was two for three.  This weekend the Jumbos will be back in action as they travel to Harvard on Saturday to take on the Crimson at 3:30 and NYU at 2:30 pm.



Tim Nichols, Senior, Men’s Track and Field

Senior Tim Nichols is having a stellar senior year, and Saturday was no exception.  Nichols set a new school record and ran the nation’s fastest time in the 3,000 meters at the Tufts Stampede in the Gantcher Center this past Saturday.  Five of the nation’s top six times in the 3,000 were run at Tufts on Saturday led by Nichols’ 8:21.51 finish.  His time broke a 16-year old record of 8:24.24 established in 2001 by former outdoor steeplechase national champion David Patterson.



Michela North, Senior, Women’s Basketball

Senior Michela North averaged 13 points with 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks this past week in two games as the Jumbos picked up wins over Emmanuel and Bates to improve to 20-0 overall and 7-0 in NESCAC play.  On Saturday, North became the program’s all-time leading scorer passing guard Colleen Hart (1,422 career points) who had a stellar career from 2007-2011.  North entered Saturday’s contest against Bates with 1,418 career points and her fifth point of the game, which was a made foul shot with 4:34 left in the first half, put her at the top of the all-time scoring list. Earlier this season North became the program’s all-time rebounding leader (949 career boards).



The women’s basketball team picked up their seventh conference win this past weekend with a 73-44 win over Bates on Saturday and earlier in the week the Jumbos beat Emmanuel, 69-48. Senior Michela North became the program’s all-time leading scorer on Saturday, and was named the NESCAC Player of the Week for her performance.

Behind a career-high 20 points from Thomas Lapham the No. 9 men’s basketball team picked up a 113-74 win over Newbury on Thursday night in Cousens Gym.  The Jumbos suffered their first conference setback of the year on Saturday with a loss up at Bates.

Junior Brittany Bowman ran a national top 10 time in the 3,000 meters to highlight the women’s track and field team’s performance at the Tufts Stampede this past weekend in the Gantcher Center.  It was the third event in which she now has a national top 15 time.

Senior Tim Nichols continued his stellar 2016-17 season, this time for the men’s track and field team as he ran the nation’s fastest time and set a new school record in the 3,000 meters at the Tufts Stampede in the Gantcher Center this past weekend.  There was no team scoring, but Nichols’ performance was one of several highlights for the Jumbos.

The No. 18 women’s squash team took on No. 1 ranked Harvard this past weekend, but fell to the Crimson picking up their first loss of the season.  The Jumbos rebounded well with a win over Connecticut College on Saturday but fell to Colby and Bates on Sunday.

The No. 28 men’s squash team had a NESCAC filled weekend, beating No. 29 Connecticut College on Saturday but falling to No. 22 Colby and No. 16 Bates on Sunday.  The Jumbos head into the NESCAC tournament this weekend with a 11-6 mark.

The men’s swimming and diving team took the pool for the last time before the conference meet this past weekend at Middlebury and picked up ten first place finishes.  Freshman Thomas Gillespie and sophomore Kingsley Bowen each won two races.

The women’s swimming and diving team headed up to Middlebury this past weekend to compete with Williams, Middlebury and Springfield in their last meet before the NESCAC Championships which are next weekend at Bowdoin.