Women's Basketball Wins Big at UC Santa Cruz 75-47

Molly Ryan SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Tufts University women's basketball team defeated the host University of California Santa Cruz 75-47 on Wednesday in the UCSC New Year's Classic at Kaiser Permanente Arena.

Senior Molly Ryan (pictured) got the game started for the Jumbos, hitting a pull-up jumper to give Tufts the first points of the game. Both teams went back-and-forth for the first quarter as there were four lead changes. With the score at 13-12 in favor of Tufts with 2:41 left in the first quarter, Ryan and UC Santa Cruz junior Ashley Kowack traded three-pointers followed by Tufts' Angela Alibrandi and UC Santa Cruz's Kaylee Murphy trading layups to make the score 18-17 with just under a minute left in the quarter. Tufts graduate student Erin Poindexter McHan made a three-pointer from the right corner as time expired to give Tufts the 21-17 lead heading into the second quarter.

The second frame was similar to the first as both teams traded baskets and kept the game tight. Tufts sophomore Maggie Russell got the quarter started with a jumper, but the Banana Slugs responded with nine unanswered points. Murphy got the run started hitting two free throws and Kowack followed that up with two layups and a three-pointer to give UCSC a 26-23 lead. Tufts would regain the lead on two consecutive layups from Alibrandi and Callie O'Brien. Both teams traded baskets until the score was tied at 31 with 1:47 left in the first half. Tufts finished the quarter strong as Poindexter McHan and Russell hit back-to-back layups to go into halftime with the Jumbos leading 35-31.

The third quarter is when the Jumbos started to separate themselves. They began the second half with a 5-0 run on layups from Ryan and Sofia Rosa and a free throw from O'Brien. They went on to turn that into a 28-11 advantae for the quarter. Ryan led the team with 11 third-quarter points which included a three-pointer at the end to give the Jumbos a 63-42 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Jumbos shot 84.6 percent in the third quarter, hitting 11 of 13 shots and three of four from three-point range.

The Jumbos just controlled the game in the final quarter, scoring 12 points but allowing only five. The defense tightened up and only allowed one field goal in the quarter as the Banana Slugs shot 1 for 13 for a field goal percentage of 7.7 percent. Tufts' 12 fourth-quarter points came from a jumper and layup from Alibrandi, a layup and free throw from Russell, a jumper from Sofia Gonzalez, a free throw from Joelle Zelony and a Colby Shea jumper to end the game with the score of 75-47.

Ryan led the way for the Jumbos with 21 points, shooting 9 for 17 from the field and 3 for 5 from three-point range. She also finished with five assists, five rebounds and three steals. Russell and Alibrandi scored 13 and 12 points respectively with Russell adding nine rebounds, two assists and two steals as well. Kowack finished the game as the leading scorer for UCSC, scoring 19 points with two rebounds and an assist.

The Jumbos' matchup with Pacific Lutheran as part of this UC Santa Cruz Tournament has been cancelled for tomorrow. Tufts will play Smith College next on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at home.

Written by Tim O'Brien, Athletic Communications Intern