Keeping the Hoops Dream Alive
Behind a career-high 37 points from junior Vincent Pace, the Tufts men’s basketball team downed St. John Fisher, 94-81 in the second round of NCAA Tournament action in Pittsford, New York, last Saturday, March 4. The Jumbos improved to 22-6 with the win and will face Babson in Sweet 16 action this Friday (March 10).
Both the Jumbos and the St. John Fisher Cardinals traded points to open the game, but the Cardinals pulled ahead, 24-16, with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half. The Jumbos then went on a 12-0 run to take the lead.
Pace turned in a layup and then, after a stop on the Cardinal end, drained a three to bring the Jumbos to within three, 24-21. Senior tri-captain Tom Palleschi added two points of his own to bring the Jumbos within one, 24-23, with just under eight minutes left in the half. Less than a minute later, junior KJ Garrett dunked to give the Jumbos the 25-24 advantage. Freshman Eric Savage made a three to give the Jumbos the 28-24 advantage with just over six minutes left in the half. The Jumbos would hold on to that lead and take the 42-35 advantage into the break.
Just two minutes into the second half, the Cardinals cut the Jumbos’ lead to one, 44-43, but Tufts answered with two from Pace, followed by two from Palleschi. Then Pace made two free throws to give the Jumbos the 50-45 lead with 16:45 left in the game.
Pace finished with a game-high 37 points and six rebounds. Tarik Smith chipped in 17 points and seven assists, and Savage turned in 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench for the Jumbos. Palleschi totaled 12 points and four rebounds.