Trinity Eliminates Men's Basketball from NESCAC Tournament

MEDFORD - In a NESCAC quarterfinal matchup on Sunday afternoon in Cousens Gymnasium, #2 seed Tufts was upset by #7 seed Trinity 90-76.

Tufts had won their previous six games, and defeated Trinity 61-38 in a regular-season matchup on February 4. The Jumbos (13-10) are now eliminated from the conference tournament while Trinity (16-8) will advance to the semifinals at Wesleyan next weekend (Feb. 26-27).

Trinity had won their conference tournament first-round tilt versus #10 seeded Bates on Friday, 67-50, while Tufts received a bye for being a top-five seed. When these teams played in the regular season, the Jumbos only allowed 11 first-half points and held Trinity to just under 20 percent shooting for the game. Sunday's matchup featured a revived Bantams offense, as they lit up the scoreboard for 50 second-half points.

In an up-tempo first half, these NESCAC rivals exchanged jabs and neither side was able to build a lead larger than six points. Bantam senior guard Tyler Mola hit a three to earn his team their first lead at 22-21 and would finish the half with 13 points. The Jumbos outscored Trinity 11-5 to end the first half. Graduate student Brennan Morris capped off the run with a three-pointer as time expired. Tufts shot a superb 61.5 percent from the field in the first period, helping them claim a 44-40 advantage heading into the locker room.

Trinity surged to a 17-7 run to start the second half, halted by two made free throws from Tufts junior Dylan Thoerner to trim the deficit to four at 57-53. Bantams senior Donald Jorden Jr. and first-year Ben Callahan-Gold had a quiet first half, but would combine for 26 points in the second period.

Callahan-Gold, a transfer student from Tulane University, poured in 28 in Friday's game versus Bates. Against the Jumbos, he drained difficult three-pointers on back-to-back possessions as the Bantam lead ballooned to 15 with 8:31 left in the half. The big man would finish with 20 points on the day.

The Brown and Blue grinded until the final whistle, and a three-pointer from senior guard Tyler Aronson brought them to within just six points with a little over three minutes left to play. The comeback effort came up just short though, and Trinity would finish the game out with free throws.

Luke Rogers and Thoerner characteristically led the way for the Jumbos, tallying 24 and 21 respectively. Rogers put up his eighth double-double of the season grabbing 12 rebounds, while Thoerner scored more than 20 points for the sixth time this year.

The Jumbos will wait in limbo until the NCAA produces their list of teams for their post-season tournament. Tufts was fourth in the most recent regional rankings. Trinity will play next Saturday in the NESCAC Tournament semifinals against host and #1 seed Wesleyan.

Written by Steven Landry, Athletic Communications Student Assistant