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Nothing But Net

Nothing But NetThe Tufts women's basketball team heads into winter break with a 9-0 record, the best start in the program's history.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [12.10.07] The New England Patriots are getting a lot of ink thanks to their 13-0 record, but there's another undefeated New England team setting records. With a record of 9-0 heading into the winter break, the Tufts women's basketball team is off to the best start in its 36-year history.

Tufts is currently ranked 24th on the USA Today/ESPN national Div. III women's basketball poll. Last season, the Jumbos finished second in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) with a record of 18-8 (8-1 NESCAC), one of the best seasons in the team's history. Tufts lost the NESCAC championship to Bowdoin and missed an at-large berth to the Div. III NCAA Tournament.

This year's success is the result of a team effort, with players from all years and positions contributing to the impressive season.

Freshman guard Colleen Hart has become a top threat. Through the team's first nine games, she leads the team in scoring with a 12.4 points per game average, on top of averaging 4.1 assists per game. She is also the team's top three-point basket and free throw shooter.

"Colleen emerged as our starting point guard at the start of preseason and has done a phenomenal job thus far," Tufts coach Carla Berube told The Boston Globe. "She's incredibly poised for a freshman and is our best on-the-ball defender."

And numbers aren't the only thing propelling this Jumbo team to victory. Berube cites the leadership of senior guard/forward and co-captain Jenna Gomez as a key factor to the team's success.

"Jenna is our emotional and vocal leader," Berube, who last year won NESCAC Coach of the Year honors, told the Globe. "She sets the tone every day and she has matured as both a leader and a basketball player. She's our most versatile player and is a tireless worker on defense, always guarding our opponents' best offensive players."

Fellow co-captain Khalilah Ummah received the NESCAC Player of the Week honor at the beginning of the season for her performance in the season-opening Endicott College Tip-Off Tournament.

The team resumes play on Jan. 5 at Fitchburg State before settling in for a four-game homestand on Jan. 9, 12, 18 and 19 at Cousens Gym.

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