#1 Women's Basketball Returns Home with 30-Point Win over UMass-Dartmouth

MEDFORD – Senior co-captain Erica DeCandido double-doubled with 20 points and 14 rebounds as the top-ranked Tufts University women's basketball team returned to Cousens Gym for the first time since November 18 with a 73-43 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon.

Molly Ryan finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.

The Jumbos, who also received 14 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from sophomore Molly Ryan, improved to 11-0 under first-year head coach Jill Pace. Junior Emily Briggs added 16 points for Tufts.

UMass-Dartmouth (7-5), who led early today, were paced by 20 points and eight rebounds from senior co-captain and guard Ashley Brown.

The visitors had the better start today and led 12-7 with 3:25 remaining in the first quarter on Brown's three-pointer. She had eight of the Corsairs' points in the opening run.

Tufts would surge to a 16-15 advantage at the end of the first by closing with a 7-2 stretch led by Briggs with four points.

The Jumbos built a double-digit lead in the second quarter, out-scoring UMass Dartmouth 23-11 led by seven points, four rebounds and three assists by DeCandido. Ryan added five points with three assists and junior Angela Alibrandi contributed four points off the bench. Alibrandi's two baskets came in the first two minutes of the period as Tufts opened with a 6-0 run.

UMD closed to within four three times in the second quarter, including 26-22 at the six-minute mark after a jumper by sophomore Jessica Carroll. However, Tufts finished the quarter with a 13-4 spurt and led 39-26 at the break. DeCandido and Ryan both had five points in the late-half Jumbo run.

Tufts would take control of the game in the third, holding the Corsairs to just four points while scoring 15. The Jumbo defense limited UMass Dartmouth to 1 for 13 shooting (7.7 percent) in the period and Briggs' six points paced the offense. Tufts' lead hit 20 points (48-28) on a Briggs lay-up at 4:24 and would not dip below that mark the rest of the way. That was part of a 13-2 Tufts run that helped the hosts take a 54-30 advantage into the fourth.

The Jumbo margin ballooned to 36 (73-37) in the fourth when junior Katie Butler nailed a jumper with 2:05 on the clock.

DeCandido added five assists, three steals and two blocks to her double-double. Tufts finished with a 55-30 advantage in rebounds, including six from both Alibrandi and sophomore Sofia Rosa.

Junior Lauren Empey and sophomore Shaelyn Carreiro both finished with eight points for the Corsairs, who lost their third straight game. Junior Meagan Donovan added five rebounds and two steals for the visitors, who shot just 1 for 13 from beyond the arc.

Tufts is home again on Monday against SUNY Polytechnic at 3 pm. The Corsairs return to Little East Conference action on Tuesday at Eastern Connecticut (4 pm).