The Tufts men’s basketball team traveled to Williamstown on Friday for their NESCAC opener against the #7 ranked Williams College Ephs. It was a back and forth game throughout the first half, with the Jumbos taking a one-point lead into the half. For the second straight game, however, the Jumbos came out of the halftime break firing, and took an early second half lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. The Jumbos held off a late Williams rally to take the contest, 80-71. With the victory the Jumbos move to 8-3 on the season and Williams falls to 11-2, snapping both a 10-game win streak and an 18-game conference win streak.
The Jumbos jumped out to an early 6-0 lead to start the game following a three-pointer by freshman C.J. Moss, but six straight points from William’s center Michael Mayer helped the Ephs to tie the game at 11-11. Both teams traded baskets for the rest of the half, with neither team able to make a large run, and the Jumbos took a 32-31 lead into the half.
The Jumbo’s built an early nine point lead in the first five minutes of the second half. The scoring run for the Jumbos included six points from junior forward Scott Anderson. That’s when freshman guard Ben Ferris took over for the Jumbos. In the seven minutes of play he got in the middle of the second half, Ferris nailed four 3-pointers and scored 14 points in the 18-6 run by the Jumbos.
The Ephs made a late run behind guard Hayden Rooke-Ley, who had 13 points in the game, but they got no closer than eight points as the Jumbos cruised to victory, 80-71. Anderson recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Ferris led all scorers with 23 points off the bench. Moss was the only other Jumbo who scored in double digits, adding 10 points and four boards. Tufts held preseason All-American James Wang to two of ten shooting and only 11 points. One of the big difference makers in the game was the three-point shooting of each team. Tufts shot an impressive six for eleven from three point land, while the Ephs struggled, making only two of 18 attempts.
The Jumbos will play Saturday against Middlebury in another conference matchup.