BRUNSWICK, Maine - The 22nd-ranked Wesleyan University men's basketball team used a late 12-0 run to rally past Bowdoin College, 74-65, on Saturday afternoon in Morrell Gymnasium.
The Cardinals finish the regular season with a 19-5 record (7-3 NESCAC) and will be the fourth seed for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. The Polar Bears (15-8, 4-6 NESCAC) squeak into the tournament as the eighth seed and will head to top-seeded Amherst next Saturday for the quarterfinal round. Complete NESCAC Tournament pairings will be announced on Sunday.
The regular-season weekend finale was a big one for the Wesleyan men's basketball team. With an Amherst win over Williams last night, the Cardinals won their third consecutive Little Three Championship and second-straight outright title. Wesleyan now has 16 total and has swept Amherst the past two seasons. Additionally, with the win over Colby on Friday night, Head Coach Joe Reilly won his 300th game. Reilly has played a significant role in Wesleyan's resurgence and has led the Cardinals to four-straight 18-plus win seasons.
- The Cardinals led throughout the opening half, but the squads traded blows as they both surpassed 50-percent shooting from the field for the first period.
- Wesleyan led by as many as nine points following an Austin Hutcherson '21 steal and fast-break dunk, 16-7, but Bowdoin was able to trim the lead to four points, 37-33, at the break thanks to 56-percent shooting from three-point range in the opening 20 minutes.
- The teams traded buckets to open the second half before a quick Bowdoin spurt, capped by a pair of Zavier Rucker free throws, gave the Polar Bears their first lead at 45-44 with 13:45 to go.
- The squads went back and forth for the majority of the half with neither team taking more than a four-point lead.
- Bowdoin took their final lead of the game with 6:15 remaining when David Reynolds buried a three-pointer from the corner to give the Polar Bears a 61-58 advantage.
- The Cardinals, however, answered with a 14-0 run, taking the lead for good on a Jordan Sears '18 lay-in with 4:45 to go. Senior Nathan Krill's jumper from the foul line with a minute to go made it an 11-point game, 72-61.
- Bowdoin could get no closer than seven points in the final minute as Wesleyan clung to victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Krill scored a game-high 24 points, including 17 in the opening half. He connected on six three-pointers and also had six rebounds.
- Liam Farley recorded a team-best 21 points for Bowdoin, including five three-pointers.
- Wesleyan also got double-figures from Jordan Bonner '18 (16) and Hutcherson (13) while Hutcherson also added eight assists.
- David Reynolds scored 19 points for the Polar Bears, who got a team-best seven rebounds from Jack Simonds.
- The Cardinals shot 50-percent for the game, including 12 three-pointers as a team while Bowdoin hit on 45-percent.
- Complete NESCAC Tournament details for both teams will be announced on Sunday.