Men's Basketball Returns With 81-70 Win Over Carthage

Dylan Thoerner GALLATIN, Tenn. - Dylan Thoerner (pictured) hit three consecutive three-pointers early in the second half to break a tie and Tufts stayed a step ahead of Carthage College the rest of the way for an 81-70 victory at the Music City Classic early this evening.

Tyler Aronson led the Jumbos with 24 points, including a perfect nine for nine performance at the free throw line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and finished with five assists. Thoerner added 20 points and Luke Rogers, playing for the first time since the Jumbo season-opener, finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks.

The game had been tied 35-35 at the half and was tied at 39 when Thoerner went off. His three straight trifectas gave the Jumbos a 48-39 advantage and forced a Firebirds time-out with 15:24 remaining in the second half.

Carthage wouldn't get closer than six points the rest of the way. They were within 54-48 when Fillip Bulatovic made a jumper with 10:53 on the second-half clock. Tufts answered with a six-point run led by Aronson's four points for a 12-point (60-48) margin as the clock ran down under 10 minutes.

Aronson stayed hot and brought the Tufts advantage to 15 (67-52) with a three-pointer at 7:18 of the half. Carthage stuck with it though and was within 68-61 when Colton Sigel nailed a three with just under five minutes remaining. The Jumbos scored seven of the next 10 points though, including another three by Aronson. Tufts sealed the victory at the free throw line.

Rogers, the NESCAC Player of the Year in 2020 who is a welcomed return for the Jumbos, scored the game's first three points. Tufts made its first four shots overall and led 13-3 early. Carthage would come back behind 10 first-half points from Nemi Ostojic and the game would be tied 35-35 at intermission. Aronson had 10 first-half points for the Jumbos.

Aronson, Thoerner and Rogers combined to score 38 of Tufts' 46 points in the second half when the Jumbos shot 51.9 percent (14/27) overall including five for 12 from three-land. They had a 25-16 advantage on the boards for the second half, including seven by Rogers.

Carthage (6-6) had four scorers finish in double digits, including Bulatovic who recorded 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

The Jumbos play their second game at the Music City Classic tomorrow against Simpson College at 2 PM EST. The tournament is being hosted by Welch College.