MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Ahead by four at halftime, the Wesleyan University men's basketball team rallied in the final 30 minutes as it doubled its first half score en route to a 75-47 win over Johnson & Wales on Thursday night in Silloway Gymnasium.
The Wildcats took a 28-27 lead at the 18:42 mark of the second half, but it was all Wesleyan the rest of the way as it outscored the visitors 50-26 in the second half. Austin Hutcherson led the Cardinals with a game-high 20 as they improved to 4-3 overall. Matt Madoian and Bryan Davis each scored nine for Johnson & Wales as the Wildcats fall to 3-4.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Both teams struggled early, offensively, as the first basket occurred at the 18:22 mark with Davis converting a 3-point play for the visitors.
- The first half went back-and-forth often with neither team pulling away.
- Knotted up at 7-7, Wesleyan went on a 9-0 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Sam Peek.
- With 2:40 remaining, Antone Walker hit one from behind-the-arc to extend the lead to eight, 25-17.
- However, the Cardinals would not score the rest of the half and a free throw by Danny Ampofo, followed by a 3-pointer, cut the deficit to four at the break.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- It was a different story in the second half.
- Johnson & Wales opened on an 8-2 run in the first 1:18 of play to go ahead 28-27, but after a layup by Jordan Bonner just over a minute later, it was all Wesleyan the rest of the way.
- A 3-point play by Joe DeLollo capped off an impressive 23-4 run by the Cardinals as they took a 50-32 lead with 9:42 to play.
- The Cardinals continued to extend their lead down the stretch and a steal by Bonner led to a fast-break dunk, giving the home team a 20-point advantage with just under five minutes remaining, and essentially putting the game out of reach.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Hutcherson was joined in double-figures by Walker and Bonner with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Hutcherson also grabbed seven boards, while Bonner finished with a double-double as he pulled in a game-high 10 rebounds. The senior co-captain also led all players with five assists.
- Brian Hogan-Gary scored eight points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds for the Wildcats. Ampofo dished out a team-high three assists, recorded two steals, and scored eight points off the bench.
- Wesleyan outscored Johnson & Wales 38-10 in the paint and outrebounded the Wildcats 55-24.
- The Cardinals are back in action on Saturday, Dec. 8 and will play at Brandeis. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.