WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Despite a strong second half rally, the Wesleyan University men's basketball team came up short on the road Friday night against No. 2 Williams College in its NESCAC opener, 68-54.
The loss snaps a five-game win streak for the Cardinals as they drop to 8-4 overall and 0-1 in conference play. The Ephs remain perfect on the year with a 12-0 mark and 1-0 league ledger. Austin Hutcherson was the lone player in double-figures for Wesleyan as he dropped 17 points, while James Heskett joined him with 17 of his own for the Ephs.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- After a 3-pointer by Joe DeLollo knotted the game at 5-5, Williams went on a 12-0 run as Bobby Casey hit one from behind-the-arc at the 14:30 mark.
- The Cardinals responded with a run of their own, however, as a jumper by Hutcherson capped off a 12-5 stretch for the visitors as they got within just five minutes later.
- Wesleyan scored only six more points in the final 9:27 and trailed 38-24 at halftime.
- Heskett had 13 of his 17 points in the first 20 minutes of play to lead all scorers.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- It was a different story in the second half.
- Trailing by as much as 17 with 15 minutes to play in regulation, the Cardinals slowly cut into the deficit and a pair of free throws by Gabe Ravetz cut the Williams lead to 10 at the 11:24 mark.
- Williams answered and a free throw by Kyle Scadlock four minutes later increased the lead to 16 (58-42).
- Over the next three minutes, Wesleyan went on an 11-0 run, led mostly but Hutcherson as a jumper by the sophomore at the four-minute mark cut the deficit to five.
- It proved to be the closest the Cardinals would get the rest of the way as Williams regained a double-digit lead at the 1:17 mark and kept Wesleyan scoreless in the final 2:22 en route to the victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Wesleyan turned the ball over just nine times while forcing 13. The Cardinals scored 20 points off turnovers but shot just 27.9% (17-61) from the floor.
- Jordan Bonner grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and added nine points. Hutcherson and JR Bascom led the team with two assists each, while Bascom added nine boards.
- Four starters scored in double-figures for the Ephs. Scadlock dropped 15, Casey scored 14, and Matt Karpowicz added 10. Scadlock grabbed 10 rebounds as well for the double-double, and Heskett dished out a game-high four assists.
- The Cardinals remain on the road for another difficult NESCAC battle as they face No. 24 Middlebury tomorrow at 3 p.m.