MEDFORD, Mass. – Despite a strong performance against the top-ranked team in the country, No. 1 Tufts, the Wesleyan women's basketball team came up short on the road Saturday in the NESCAC Quarterfinals, 58-48.
The Cardinals, seeded eighth in the conference tournament, nearly upset the top-seeded and undefeated Jumbos, but the loss ends Wesleyan's season with a 14-11 record. Tufts improved to 25-0 and will host the NESCAC Semifinals and Finals next weekend
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- After some back-and-forth action early in the first quarter, the Jumbos scored five unanswered to take a 14-7 lead at the 2:28 mark.
- However, they wouldn't score the rest of the quarter and a deep jumper from Maddie Clark before the buzzer cut the deficit to two entering the second.
- It was a similar story throughout the next 10 minutes as the two teams exchanged baskets often.
- Ahead 22-20, Tufts scored four-straight to grab the largest lead of the game to that point.
- With 10 seconds remaining in the half, Ava Tompkins hit a pair of free throws to get Wesleyan within four at the break, 26-22.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Jumbos opened the second half with a 7-0 run capped off by a trey from Molly Ryan at the 7:07 mark, extending the home team's lead to 11.
- Wesleyan answered nicely, however, with six-straight as a jumper by Clark cut the deficit to five, 33-28 with 4:58 to play.
- The remainder of the quarter featured back-and-forth action yet again but a buzzer-beating layup by Sadie Otley gave Tufts a 42-35 lead entering the fourth.
- The Jumbos scored five unanswered to open the fourth quarter as they grabbed a 12-point lead with 8:48 remaining.
- Minutes later, trailing by 12 again, Clark hit one from deep to jumpstart a 7-0 stretch for the Cardinals as they got within five with 2:39 to play.
- However, it would be the closest Wesleyan would get the rest of the way as the top-ranked Jumbos held on for the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Clark led Wesleyan with 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting while Marina Petruzzi added 12 points, four rebounds, and two steals. Tompkins hauled in 11 rebounds, dished out three assists, and blocked three shots.
- Erica DeCandido recorded a double-double as she dropped a game-high 19 points and pulled in a game-high 12 boards. She also registered two assists, two steals, and two blocks. Joining her in double figures was Ryan and Otley with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
- Tufts held a slight 38-36 edge in rebounding and 24-22 advantage in points in the paint.
- The major difference was the Jumbos' ability to score off turnovers as they totaled 14 points off Wesleyan's miscues while the Cardinals totaled just two points off the home team's mistakes.