Men's Basketball Scores 18 Unanswered Second Half Points to Pick Up 75-65 Win Over Nichols

DUDLEY, Mass. – Down by three points with just over ten minutes left in the second half the Tufts men's basketball team scored 18 unanswered points to take a commanding lead, and held on for a 75-65 win over Nichols on the road on Saturday afternoon. 

Luke Rogers turned in his seventh double-double of the season 

The Jumbos improve to 10-2 with the win.  The Bison, who were receiving votes in the latest national poll, drop their third in a row and move to 7-4 on the season. 

Spencer Jaekwon opened up scoring with a layup for the Bison, and then a jumper from DeAnte Bruton made it 4-0.  But the Jumbos answered with a layup from Rogers and then a jumper from Eric Savage tied things at four.  After two more Bison baskets the Jumbos pulled within two with a dunk from Rogers, and then a three from junior Will Brady gave the Jumbos their first lead of the day, 9-8, about seven minutes into play. 

The Bison would tie things three times over the next four minutes, but they weren't able to take a lead again.  With things locked at 17 junior Luke Rogers made one of two at the charity stripe and then freshman Casey McLaren put the Jumbos ahead, 20-17, with layup with 6:27 left in the half.  

Ahead 22-21 with 3:32 left tin the half the Jumbos got two free throws from freshman Dylan Thoerner to take a 24-21 lead.  After a Bison layup, sophomore Tyler Aronson turned in a three to give the Jumbos a 27-23 lead with 3:03 left in the half.  The two teams traded baskets to end of the half, and the Jumbos took a 31-27 lead into the break. 

The Jumbos held on to that lead for the first part of the second half.  Down 44-37 the Bison got two free throws from Matt Morrow and then a three from Tyren Clark about six minutes into the second half that brought them within two, 44-42. Clark followed that with another three about 20 seconds later to put the Bison ahead, 45-44.  Nate Tenaglia gave the home team a three-point lead with a layup with 12:43 to go.  

The Jumbos got two free throws from Aronson, and after a layup from Morrow for the Bison the Jumbos scored 18 unanswered points to take a commanding lead.  Junior Brennan Morris tied things at 49 with just over ten minutes left to play. Aronson then made a layup and Morris added another three.  A three from Brady with 7:59 left put the Jumbos ahead 57-49.  Savage followed that with a steal and then a layup and the made free throw after.  A Rogers layup put the Jumbos ahead by 13 with 6:52 left in the game.  Savage added another steal and the layup after to give the Jumbos a 64-49 advantage with 6:11 left. 

Down by 16 with 4:05 left in the game the Bison worked to get back in it.  Bruton started it with a pair of free throws and then Spencer sunk back-to-back threes to cut the lead to nine with 2:58 remaining.  Morrow then turned in a layup with 2:33 left that brought the Bison within seven, 67-60.  But, that was as close as they would get, as Tufts picked up the 75-65 win.  

Rogers finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Jumbos.  Savage turned in 13 points, five rebounds, a couple of assists and three steals.  Aronson added ten points and five rebounds.  Brady helped with nine points, all from behind the arc, and Thoerner added eight points to the win. Morris turned in eight points and seven rebounds and sophomore Carson Cohen finished with four points, five assists and three steals. 

Morrow was the offensive leader for the Bison with 26 points and 23 rebounds.  Spencer added 14 points and six rebounds.  Bruton tallied nine points and three boards, along with five assists. 

The Jumbos are back in action when they open up NESCAC play on the road on Friday night with a 7 pm start at Wesleyan. Nichols plays again on Tuesday when they host Endicott for a 7:30 pm tip off.