MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Olivia Gorman dropped a team-high 20 points as the Wesleyan University women's basketball team defeated Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham, 66-59, in its first game of 2019.
The Cardinals dominated the boards with a 69-42 advantage as they improved to 6-3 overall on the year. Cayla Staggers led a late rally for the Devils as she dropped a game-high 21 points but it wasn't enough as the loss dropped them to 4-7.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Tied at 1-1 early in the first, Olivia Gorman scored five unanswered points to give the home team a lead, which proved to be the difference the rest of the quarter as the game went back-and-forth often. After 10 minutes of play, the Cardinals held a 21-16 lead.
- It was much of the same in the second quarter with neither team able to put together a run as they exchanged points most of the way.
- After a layup by Kayla Croswell cut the deficit to three at the 2:09 mark, Wesleyan held the visitors scoreless the rest of the half and scored seven unanswered points to take a 36-26 lead into the break.
- The Cardinals dominated the glass in the first half and hauled in an incredible 23 offensive rebounds.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- After a layup by Staggers at the 6:52 mark, the Cardinals responded quickly with a jumper by Ava Tompkins. The basket jumpstarted a 9-2 run, which featured two fast-break layups from Katy O'Connor as her second one gave the home team a 51-34 advantage with 2:51 on the clock.
- The Devils answered the Wesleyan run with a rally of their own. They closed out the third quarter on a 9-0 run with Staggers connecting on a fast-break layup with 13 seconds left to cut the deficit to eight heading into the fourth, 51-43.
- FDU-Florham continued its run in the fourth quarter and another layup by Staggers got the Devils within three, 53-50, with 7:16 remaining in regulation.
- Wesleyan remained resilient though and with 1:29 left to play, a free throw by Tompkins increased the Cardinals lead to nine (64-55) as they held on for the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Caleigh Ryan joined Gorman in double-figures with 10 points and also grabbed eight boards while dishing out a game-high three assists. Tara Berger dropped seven points and pulled in a game-high 15 boards, while Emma Roush pulled in 11.
- Three players scored in double-figures for the Devils as Raven Dowling and Croswell dropped 17 and 15 points, respectively. Croswell also led the team with eight rebounds, four steals, and three assists.
- Wesleyan is back in action on Friday, Jan. 4 and will open NESCAC play with a home game against Little Three rival Williams. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.