MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Austin Hutcherson scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds to help lead the Wesleyan University men's basketball team to an 80-72 win over Western New England in the Championship Game of the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament (sponsored by the Red Lion Hotel Cromwell) on Saturday afternoon. Hutcherson was named the Tournament MVP and freshman Gab Ravetz claimed All-Tournament honors with 17 points off the bench, including two clutch 3-pointers down the stretch to help seal the win.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The first 20 minutes went back-and-forth often.
- With 9:55 to play, a pair of free throws by JR Bascom gave Wesleyan a 21-14 lead, the largest margin of the game up to that point.
- Trailing 23-16, the Golden Bears went on a 12-0 run capped off by a free throw by Mikey Pettway at the 4:47 mark.
- The Cardinals closed out the half with six unanswered points and a huge block by Sam Peek with 30 seconds to play helped give the home team a 34-31 lead at the break.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Western New England came out strong to start the second and regained a lead at the 18:29 mark following a jumper by Pettway.
- Shortly after, a lay-up by Pettway followed by a three from Tim Reilly gave the visitor's a 50-43 lead with 12:37 to play.
- Wesleyan slowly cut into the deficit and just over five minutes later, a pair of free throws by Jack Alberding knotted the game at 57-57.
- Hutcherson then stepped up huge for the Cardinals and hit back-to-back jumpers to give Wesleyan a 61-57 lead.
- The Golden Bears responded with consecutive 3-pointers from Mike McGuire and Alex Sikorski to go up 65-64 with 4:58 on the clock.
- With Wesleyan ahead by two, 67-65, Ravetz hit two clutch treys just 38 seconds apart to give the home team a 73-65 advantage.
- The deficit proved to be too much for Western New England down the stretch as Wesleyan secured the eight-point victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Joining Hutcherson and Ravetz in double-figures were Jordan Bonner and Antone Walker with 16 and 10, respectively. Bonner pulled in a team-high nine rebounds and Bascom dished out a team-high three assists.
- Wesleyan as a team shot 40% (24-60) from the floor and 80.6% (25-31) from the foul line. Western New England was 37.7% (26-69) from inside the arc and just 68.8% (11-16) from the charity stripe.
- Pettway was terrific for the Golden Bears as he dropped a game-high 34 points while also leading all players with four assists and adding six boards. McGuire finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, and Zachary Tavitian totaled 11 points and five boards.
- The Western New England bench was outscored 23-8 and the visitors were outrebounded 53-35.
- Kareem Davis, Becker
- Patrik Lubin, Thomas
- Mikey Pettway, Western New England
- Mike McGuire, Western New England
- Gab Ravetz, Wesleyan
- Austin Hutcherson, Wesleyan – Tournament MVP
- The Cardinals return to action Tuesday, Nov. 20 and will play at Nichols. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.