Medford, Mass. - The Trinity College men's basketball team fell to the Tufts University Jumbos, 76-71, on Saturday afternoon in the regular season finale at Cousens Gymnasium in Medford. Trinity finishes the regular season with a 15-9 overall record and 4-6 mark in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), earning them the No. 7-seed in the upcoming NESCAC Championship Tournament. The Bantams will head to Williams next weekend for the quarterfinal round where they will face the No. 2-seeded Ephs. Tufts, who finishes the regular season with a 17-7 overall record and 6-4 record in league play, claims the No. 6-seed in the tournament.
The Bantams and the Jumbos played an extremely close game, as no team led by more than six points for the entire contest. Both teams started slow, trading baskets before the Jumbos got a free throw followed by a three from Vincent Pace (Bridgewater, N.J.) to take a lead. After one free throw from Trinity sophomore Nick Seretta (Greenfield, Mass.), the Jumbos got a pair from the charity stripe from Luke Rogers (Boxborough, Mass.) to take a 16-11 advantage.
A layup from Bantam rookie Donald Jorden Jr. (Tampa, Fla.) tied things at 16-16, a common theme in the first 20 minutes of action. A jumper from Jorden later gave Trinity a four-point advantage, but the Jumbos took the lead right back thanks five consecutive points from senior Everett Dayton (Pacific Palisades, Calif.). Trinity sophomore Joseph Bell (Manchester, N.H.) drilled a three-pointer with 32 seconds left in the half which gave the Bantams a 32-30 lead at the break.
The two teams traded leads to start the second half, before the Bantams built their largest lead of the day five minutes in. Up by two, 45-43, Trinity got two free throws from Bell and then a layup from junior Judah Woney (Harlem, N.Y.) to take a 49-43 advantage with 11:57 left in the game. The Jumbos answered with two free throws from senior KJ Garrett (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) and then a three from Justin Kouyoumdjian (La Canada, Calif.) to bring Tufts within one, 49-48, with just over ten minutes left in the game.
A three from Trinity junior Jeremy Arthur (Westbury, N.Y.) tied things at 69-69 with 1:28 remaining, but Jumbo Patrick Racy (Ridgefield, Conn.) made one-of-two at the line to give the Jumbos back the lead, 70-69, a lead they did not relinquish. Lapham made five free throws in the game's final 29 seconds to help the Jumbos secure the five-point victory.
Trinity was led by 12 points and five rebounds from sophomore Kyle Padmore (Milton, Mass.) while Arthur finished with ten points and five boards and Bell added 11 points. Sophomore Christian Porydzy (South Glastonbury, Conn.) turned in nine points, five rebounds and three assists for the Bantams as well. Pace finished with 18 points, three rebounds and two assists for Tufts while Dayton turned in a double-double with 17 points and ten rebounds. Lapham added 11 points and Garrett finished with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals off the bench for the Jumbos.