MEDFORD, Mass. — The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's basketball team fell on the road to the Tufts University (TU) Jumbos, 89-71, inside Cousens Gymnasium Saturday afternoon. The Jumbos pulled away in the second half behind their three-point and free-throw shooting after the Blue Jays were within five, 42-37, at the break.
Tufts, USJ's second straight New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opponent, used a strong second half and got double-digit point efforts from five different players to pick up the win. Junior Brennan Morris (East Hempstead, N.H) led the Jumbos' offense with 20 points, including five threes. Junior Luke Rogers (Boxborough, Mass.) poured in 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Senior Eric Savage (South Brunswick, N.J.) finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Tyler Aronson (Holliston, Mass.) added 12 points, while classmate Carson Cohen (Pittsburgh, Pa.) turned in 11.
Sophomore Delshawn Jackson Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) paced the Blue Jays offensively for the second time through three games with 20 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the floor. Classmate Ryan O'Neill (Litchfield, Conn.) dropped 16, including 13 in the first half to spark Saint Joseph and keep them within striking distance in the opening frame. Freshman Taelon Martin (Springfield, Mass.) added 11, while junior Jordan Powell (Middletown, Conn.) chipped in with six points and a team-best seven rebounds.
Score: Saint Joseph 71, Tufts 89
Records: USJ (1-2), TU (4-0)
Location: Cousens Gymnasium | Medford, Mass.
COACH QUOTE [Jim Calhoun]
"[Tufts] was the best team we have faced this year and on the road is always tough. We got off to a terrible start, came back, showed some guts and then couldn't make the plays down the stratch and they did. They are a good basketball team and now we we have to regroup and get ready for two big games during Thanksgiving week.
- The Jumbos started the game on fire scoring the first 12 points of the game to take an early 12-0 lead. Rogers opened the game with a dunk followed by a Morris three. Rogers added two free throws, and a layup and then a three from Aronson put the Jumbos ahead by 12 four minutes into play.
- After being held scoreless for the opening 4:46 of play, USJ finally got on the board with a layup from O'Neill and he made the free throw after for the three-point play.
- Halfway through the first half the Jumbos were ahead, 27-10, but the Blue Jays fought their way back into the game. The comeback started with a couple of free throws from O'Neill. Then, Jackson Jr. made back-to-back layups and O'Neill sank a three to bring USJ within eight, 27-19, with 8:25 left in the half.
- After a three from Aronson for the Jumbos, Jackson Jr. and O'Neill each turned in layups, followed by a pair of Tyshawn Welborn Jr. (Hartford, Conn.) free throws to bring the Blue Jays within five, 30-25, with seven minutes left in the half. A layup from Martin cut the Jumbo lead to three, 30-27, with 6:40 to go.
- After two free throws from junior Max Oppenheim (Potomac, Md.), Welborn Jr. made a layup and then a layup from Martin brought the visitors within one, 32-31, however that would be as close as USJ would ever come as they never led in the game.
- The Jumbos answered with a three-point play from Savage with a layup and the free throw after. The two teams traded baskets, and the Jumbos took a 42-37 lead into the break.
- Rogers opened the second half with a dunk, but the visitors answered with a layup from sophomore Jake Sullivan (Branford, Conn.). Rogers then made a layup and Morris drained a three that put the Jumbos ahead by ten, 49-39, just about two minutes into the second half.
- About seven minutes into the second half with Tufts ahead by eight, 57-49, the Jumbos added to that lead. Savage started it with two free throws, Oppenheim made one free throw and junior Will Brady (Ridgefield, Conn.) added a layup to make it 62-49 in the Jumbos favor.
- O'Neill turned in a three for the Blue Jays, but freshman Casey McLaren (Newburyport, Mass.) answered with one from downtown on the Jumbos end of the court. Rogers then added two free throws to put the Jumbos ahead by 15, 67-52, with just under ten minutes left to play.
- The hosts would never look back maintaining its double-didgit lead for the remainder of the game to secure the, 89-71, victory.
NUMBER TO KNOW
13 – The Jumbos made 13 three-pointers (13-34) in the win to USJ's three (3-10). Tufts also shot 13 more free-throw attempts (24-28) than USJ (14-15) in the game as the hosts were in the bonus for the final 12:22 of the second half.
- The Blue Jays had a season-low five assists and committed a season-high 18 turnovers.
- Tufts assisted on half of its makes with 13 assists on 26-for-60 (43.3%) shooting from the floor, while turning it over just eight times.
- USJ shot slightly better than Tufts going 27-for-60 (45.0%) on the day, but the three-ball was the difference as the hosts shot 13-of-34 (38.2%) from distance.
- Saint Joseph won the battle on the boards 37-33.
Men's hoops returns home to the O'Connell Center on Tuesday night and will host Salve Regina in a non-conference contest. Tip-off between the Blue Jays and Seahawks is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.