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Men's Basketball Falls to Tufts in NESCAC-Opener, 92-85

Photo by Bre Cavanaugh '19
Photo by Bre Cavanaugh '19

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan men's basketball team lost a difficult NESCAC-opener against Tufts on Friday night in Silloway Gymnasium as the Cardinals came up short, 92-85.

Four players scored in double-figures for Wesleyan as Jordan James led the way with 19 points and eight rebounds. The loss snapped the Cardinals' six-game win streak as they drop to 9-3 overall and 0-1 in league play. The Jumbos also got double-digit scoring efforts from four guys with Luke Rogers leading dropping a game-high 23 as they improved to 11-2 and 1-0.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Both teams struggled offensively early-on but a 3-pointer by David Dixon at the 15:48 mark gave Wesleyan a 9-2 advantage.
  • Over the next seven minutes, Tufts went on a 25-8 run as Will Brady hit one from behind-the-arc to give the visitors a 10-point lead with 8:23 remaining.
  • Tufts got hot from deep and went ahead 43-30 at the 2:20 mark.
  • Wesleyan slowly cut into the deficit and with the clock running down, Antone Walker hit a jumper at the buzzer to make it a seven-point margin at the break as Tufts led 47-40.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The game went back-and-forth for much of the second half.
  • Trailing 60-51, Wesleyan went on a 9-0 run capped off by a layup from Shackylle Dezonie to even the score with 13:30 remaining.
  • Tyler Aronson answered the run with back-to-back 3-pointers for the Jumbos. They would lead the rest of the way despite the Cardinals getting within one on multiple occasions.
  • With 1:31 left to play, Walker found James for a layup to cut the deficit to two (87-85). However, Tufts closed out the game on a 5-0 run to hold on for the win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Tufts shot 54.2% (32-59) from the floor and Wesleyan shot 45.9% (34-74). The Cardinals outscored the Jumbos in the paint, 50-30, and held a slight 38-37 edge in rebounding.
  • Sam Peek scored 17 points, dished out four assists, blocked three shots, and recorded two steals for Wesleyan. Walker added 15 points and a team-high six assists, and Preston Maccoux dropped 12 on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting while also hauling in eight boards.
  • Rogers also grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double. Aronson finished with 15 points, Brennan Morris scored 13, and Eric Savage scored 12. Savage led all players with seven assists, Carson Cohen added six, and Aronson registered five.

UP NEXT:

  • Wesleyan returns to action Sunday, January 12 and will host Bates at 1 p.m.