Jan. 8, 2009
MEDFORD, MA - Senior guard Aaron Gallant (Bangor, ME) netted 21 points to lead the Tufts University men's basketball team as it held on to defeat visiting University of Massachusetts Boston, 73-67, tonight in Medford, MA. The Beacons fall to 2-9 on the season, while the Jumbos improve to 7-5.
Tufts owned a commanding 70-48 advantage with just 4:25 left to play in the game, but UMass Boston put together a furious 19-3 run to close out the contest, but just ran out of time to fall short. Junior guard Aaron Jones (Boston, MA/Catholic Memorial) netted seven points and classmate Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) scored six points to fuel the Beacons' late comeback.
The Jumbos never trailed in the first half, but also didn't lead by more than five points. Junior forward Ernst Jean (Malden, MA) converted a lay-up with 6:40 showing in the first half to knot the score at 18-18, but it would be the closest UMass Boston would get in the contest as Tufts closed out the period with an 11-6 stretch, to take a 29-24 lead into the intermission.
Junior forward Jon Pierce (Belmont, MA) scored the first six points of the second half for the Jumbos, before freshman guard Chris Milton (Milton, MA) drained a three-pointer for the Beacons to cut the deficit to 35-27 with 17:19 remaining in the game. Tufts started to pull away with a 16-4 burst, paced by six points from Gallant, to give the Jumbos a comfortable 51-31 lead with 13:14 to go in the game. Tufts later took its largest lead of the night at 66-43 with 6:09 on the second half clock, before UMass Boston tried to pull off the upset.
Gallant was 8-16 from the floor and added five rebounds and a pair of assists for the Jumbos. Junior forward Dave Beyel (Ocean City, NJ) recorded a double-double for Tufts with 11's in points and rebounds, while junior Tom Selby (Madison, WI) had 14 rebounds (nine offensive), helping the hosts win the battle of the boards 56-45. Sophomore point guard Matt Galvin (Floral Park, NY) finished with 10 assists and Pierce had 15 points and eight rebounds.
Jean led the Beacons with 17 points, five blocks and four steals to go along with eight rebounds, while Jones came off the bench to score 15 points and added five assists, three steals and two rebounds. Joseph posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards in addition to two blocks and a steal and senior point guard A.J. Titus (Roxbury, MA) pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, scored six points, handed out five assists and came up with three steals.
Tufts remains at home to host Wheaton College on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., while UMass Boston travels to Danbury, CT to take on Western Connecticut State University on Saturday for a 3:00 p.m. Little East Conference match-up.