Men's Basketball Holds Off Camel Comeback to Pick up 91-87 Win Friday Night

MEDFORD – Four Jumbos scored in double-digits and the Tufts men's basketball team held off a second half comeback by visiting Connecticut College to pick up a 91-87 win on Friday night in Cousens Gym.  Junior captain Eric Savage turned in a double-double with 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.   

Pat Racy added seven points, five rebounds and some critical defense for the Jumbos.

With the win the Jumbos improve 9-10 overall and 3-3 in NESCAC games.  The Camels fall to 6-12 overall and 0-6 in conference games. 

The Camels used a strong second half to erase a 16-point deficit.  The Jumbos were ahead 16 points about two minutes into the second half.  Down 11 with 6:46 left in the game, the Camels scored seven unanswered points to cut the lead to four.  Tufts held on to that lead for a few minutes, and with 55 seconds left a three from Camel Ben Bagnoli cut the lead to three, 87-84.  Two free throws from sophomore Luke Rogers put the Jumbos up five, but then Bagnoli sunk another three to cut the lead to two, 89-87, with 21 seconds left.  

The Jumbos were quickly fouled, and sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian made both at the line to extend the lead to four again.  The Camels had 13 seconds, but they weren't able to make a shot, and the Jumbos picked up the 91-87 win. 

The Camels began the game well, building a seven-point lead and holding that lead for about the first five minutes of play.  Sophomore Brennan Morris cut the lead to four with a three with 14:37 left in the half, and then Savage brought the Jumbos within two, 13-11, about six minutes into play.  Freshman Tyler Aronson tied things at 15 with a three for the Jumbos about a minute and a half later.  

The two teams traded baskets and the lead for a bit.  Ahead three, 34-31, with 4:18 left in the half the Jumbos scored 13 unanswered points, including five points from Savage and five from freshman Eric DeBrine, to take a 47-31 lead with 43 seconds left in the period.  The Camels got a jumper and a free throw from Dan Draffan, and the Jumbos were ahead, 47-34, at the break. 

About two and a half minutes into the second the Camels got a three from Phil Leotsakos to cut the Jumbo lead to 13.  Leotsakos added a jumper, and then a layup from Draffan cut the lead to nine, 54-45, about four minutes into the half. After a layup from Savage put the Jumbos ahead by 11 again, the Camels got a layup from Jack Zimmerman and then another from Leotsakos.  A jumper from David Labossiere cut the lead to five, 58-53, with 13:52 remaining in the game. 

The two teams traded baskets, and down by 11 with 6:46 left in the game the Camels made their comeback.  But, the Jumbos held on for the 91-87 win. 

Morris led the Jumbos with 16 points, five rebounds and four assists.  Savage added 15 points, a career-high 17 rebounds and four assists.  Aronson finished with 14 points and Rogers helped with 12 points and seven rebounds.  Kouyoumdjian and DeBrine each added eight points and junior Pat Racy turned in seven points and five rebounds off the bench.  

Labossiere led the Camels with 26 points and eight rebounds.  Draffan turned in 16 points and four rebounds with five assists.  Leotsakos and Zimmerman both added 12 points and Zimmerman pulled down seven rebounds. 

The Jumbos are back in action on Saturday when they host Wesleyan for a 3 pm start.  The Camels play again on Saturday when they travel to Bates for a 3 pm tip off.