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Tufts’ Emily Briggs named rookie of the year in NESCAC

Canton’s Emily Briggs (22) of Tufts was named the NESCAC rookie of the year. The Jumbos play in the NCAA Division III tournament on Friday. (Photo by Geoff Bolte/Clarus Studios)

CANTON –A year ago, Emily Briggs was helping the Canton High girls basketball team win their second straight Class S championship.

On Friday night, she will be playing in the NCAA Division III tournament when Tufts University (23-4, 8-2 NESCAC) hosts Westfield State.

Briggs has played well at Tufts this season -earning rookie of the year honors in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). She is the first Tufts player since 2008 to win rookie of the year honors.

Briggs has averaged 7.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.0 steals per game. She is fourth on the team in both points and rebounds. Briggs has appeared in 26 of the squad’s 27 games, starting 10 of them. She has been in the starting lineup in the last six games including all three games in the NESCAC Tournament.

She recorded her first double-double in just her third career game when she had 12 points and 10 rebounds against Emerson. In a 69-53 win over Hamilton in early February, Briggs had a career-high 20 points in 35 minutes of play. She was 9-of-20 from the field against Hamilton.

The Jumbos advanced to the NESCAC championship game for the fifth straight year before falling to Amherst College, 44-40.

Tufts is coached by head coach Carla Berube, who played for Connecticut (1994-97), winning a NCAA championship in 1995. She also played with the Hartford-based New England Blizzard of the American Basketball League for two seasons before the league folded.

Berube has been at Tufts for 16 years and has guided the Jumbos to four straight Final Four appearances (2014-17) and berths in the last two national championship games.

UPDATE: Tufts beat Westfield State in their Division III opener on March 2 at Tufts, 71-54. Briggs started and played 16 minutes, scoring three points. She was 1-for-4 from the floor with four rebounds and three steals. Tufts hosts Oneonta on Sunday, March 4.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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