Tufts moves on to second round in win
Kornegay finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists
MEDFORD, Mass. -- Senior guard Tiffany Kornegay scored six points down the stretch and made a huge defensive play in the final seconds as Tufts advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship with a 61-57 win against Misericordia on Friday night at Cousens Gymnasium.
Tufts had led by as many as 10 points in the second half, but the visiting Cougars clawed their way back and took a 51-50 lead on a pair of free throws by senior Jesse Robinson with 5:19 remaining in regulation.
Kornegay, who finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three steals, popped a jumper and added a pair of free throws to get the lead back for Tufts at 54-51 with 4:26 to go. The Jumbos pushed the margin up to seven at 59-52 on a free throw by senior co-captain Kate Barnosky, but Misericordia stuck with it. They scored the next five points, including a 3-pointer by Robinson that made it 59-57 Jumbos with 38 seconds left.
After Tufts missed two free throws at the other end, Misericordia brought the ball up the court down two as the clock approached 10 seconds. Cougar senior Christine Marks, who was sensational with 22 points and 12 rebounds, missed a lay-up, but got her own rebound. On her second attempt, Kornegay blocked the shot, got the rebound and was fouled. She would add a pair of free throws sandwiched around an offensive rebound to help the Jumbos secure the victory.
Similar to the second half, Misericordia had battled back in the first half. The Jumbo lead was at seven points (21-14) after a lay-up by Kornegay with 8:33 to go until halftime. The Cougars put together a 12-5 run keyed by seven points from Marks to tie the score at 26-26 with 3:47 on the clock. Tufts scored the final six points to lead 32-26 at the break, with Kornegay's nine points pacing the hosts. Marks also had nine at halftime for Misericordia.
A 12-4 spurt covering five minutes early in the second half opened the Tufts lead to 46-36 on a pair of free throws from junior Collier Clegg at the 12:35 mark. Sophomore Caitlin McClure scored five of the points for Tufts. However, the Cougars out-scored the Jumbos 15-4 in the next seven minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers by Marks, to lead 51-50.
Clegg added 11 points and five rebounds for Tufts, which improved to 22-6. That ties with 2008-09 for the second-best win total in team history. The Jumbos are now 6-3 in four NCAA tournament apperances. Sophomore Liz Moynihan finished with nine points, while Barnosky grabbed eight rebounds. Tufts was shaky at the free-throw line, making only 13 of 23 (56.5 percent).
Robinson joined Marks in double figures for Misericordia with 16 points. She also grabbed five rebounds and had three steals. Junior Hannah Seely was productive with eight points, seven rebounds and four assists. The Cougars, who were playing in their first NCAA game and finish their season at 17-11, were an excellent 16 of 18 (88.9 percent) from the line.