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