Savage Matches Career-High as Men's Basketball Opens Season With 103-82 Road Win at Emerson

BOSTON – Senior Eric Savage matched his career-high with 27 points and the men's basketball team opened up their 2019-20 season with a 103-82 win at Emerson on Saturday afternoon. 

Junior Luke Rogers turned in 21 points and 12 rebounds in the season opener

The game was the first of the year for the Jumbos (1-0), while Emerson suffers their first lost of the season and falls to 2-1. 

Sophomore Carson Cohen opened up scoring with a three, and then junior Luke Rogers and Cohen each made layups to give the Jumbos a 7-0 lead. Jack O'Connor put the Lions on the board with a layup and then junior Brennan Morris sunk a three to give the visitors a 10-2 advantage about four minutes into play. 

Trevor McLean made a pair of free throws and then Ben Holding brought the Lions within five with a three.  The Jumbos would lead by five for about the next five minutes.  Just under halfway through the first half Morris made a jumper that put the Jumbos up by seven, 25-17.  But the Lions answered with a jumper from Jaelen Ogadhoh, and followed that with layups from Ben Allen and Zach Waterhouse to come within two, 25-23.  

The Jumbos responded with a three-point play from Savage with a made layup and the free throw after to put them ahead, 28-23.  O'Connor made two from the charity stripe for the Lions and then on the Lion's next possession made two more to cut the Tufts lead to one, 28-27. With just over five minutes left in the half, a free throw from Chad Dicenzo tied things at 30. 

The Jumbos got a layup and a three from Savage to put them ahead by five again, but the Lions answered with a jumper from James Beckwith and a layup from Zach Waterhouse to come within one, 35-34.  Cohen drained a three for the Jumbos and Savage followed that with a layup to put the Jumbos ahead, 40-34, with 2:48 left in the half.  The two teams would trade points, and the Jumbos took a 49-42 lead into the break. 

Rogers scored the first seven points of the second half for the Jumbos.  A minute and a half into the second frame he made a layup that gave the Jumbos a 56-46 advantage. Five minutes into the half the Jumbos got two free throws from sophomore Tyler Aronson to increase their lead to 11, 60-49.  The Lions cut that lead to six thanks to a layup from Nate Martin and then Martin added a free throw and a jumper from Waterhouse made it 60-54.  

The two teams traded baskets and a free throw from Rogers put the Jumbos ahead, 65-57.  Freshman Casey McLaren added a three and then Brennan Morris sunk another three to put the Jumbos up 71-59 with just over ten minutes left in the game. The Jumbos were able to grow their lead in those final ten minutes, and ended up picking up the 103-82 win. 

Savage finished with 27 points, five rebounds and five assists, along with a couple of blocks.  Rogers added 21 points and 12 rebounds.  Morris collected 20 points, including four threes, and also added 11 rebounds to his day.  Cohen turned in 15 points, four rebounds, six assists and a couple of steals.  Freshmen Dylan Thoerner and Aronson each turned in six points off the bench for the Jumbos and Aronson helped with three rebounds. 

O'Connor and Waterhouse each turned in 15 points for the Lions.  O'Connor added seven rebounds to his day and Waterhouse finished with four rebounds.  Nate Martin added 13 points, four assist and four steals. Beckwith turned in eight points off the bench and added four rebounds.  Holding tallied seven points off the bench as well. 

The Jumbos are back in action on Tuesday when they open their home schedule with a 7 pm match up against UMass-Dartmouth. Emerson plays again on Monday when they travel to Brandeis for a 7 pm start with the Judges.