MVP Dreisen Heath '15 Collects 25 Points in Title Game to Power Women's Basketball to Crown in OT at St. Joseph - Cards Drops Tough One at Vassar
During the 2011-12 season, Dreisen Heath '15 (#13, main photo) played in 14 contests and scored a total of 22 points. In Wesleyan's 66-61 overtime conquering of host St. Joseph (CT) in the championship game of the Blue Jays' tip-off tournament Sat., Nov. 17, Heath led all scorers with 25 points in a career game, making 10 of 11 shots from the field, including a 4-for-4 effort from three-point range. With six points during the Cardinals' first-round win over SUNY Purchase, Dreisen merited tournament MVP honors. Named to the all-tournament team from Wesleyan was Amber Wessells '14 (#22, photo insert upper right).
Dresien put Wesleyan ahead for good in the extra period with a three-pointer just 10 seconds into the frame. When Wessells and Dreisen added layups, Wesleyan held a 59-54 lead with 3:41 left. A free throw by KellyAnn Rooney and a baskey by Cherkira Lashley '15 upped the advantage to 62-55 with two minutes to go. A 6-1 Blue Jay run made it 63-61 with :40 on the clock. Rooney then sank a key pair of free throws at the :30 mark to push the lead back to four. When St. Joseph missed a trey, Wessells collared the rebound and made one of two from the charity stripe for the 66-61 final score. Wessells finished the game with eight points, four rebounds, three assists and five steals. Dreisen had six steals along with three rebounds and three assists.
Kendra Harris '13 picked up her first career double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in a great supporting effort.
Wesleyan led much of the first half, and by as many as six points (19-13) before the Blue Jays pulled within a point at halftime, 22-21. St. Joseph took its first lead in over 13 minutes, 30-29, with 15:03 remaining in regulation. The Blue Jays extended their lead to five, 36-31, before a 7-1 Cardinal run capped by a fast-break layup by Dreisen allowed Wesleyan to recapture the lead, 38-37, with 7:28 to go. Still, St. Joseph again moved out to a five-point bulge, 45-40, with four minutes to play. Baskets by Harris, Rooney and a trey by Dreisen gave Wesleyan a 47-45 edge with 1:47 showing. Three points by Harris and a pair of free throws by Wessells spotted the Cardinals a 52-49 lead with :15 left, but the Blue Jays hit a tying three-pointer with :03 on the clock to force overtime.
The win improved Wesleyan's all-time record vs. St. Joseph to 11-1.
Ahead for the Cardinals was a trip to Vassar for a meeting with the Brewers Tues., Nov. 20. There the Cardinals faced an uphill battle much of the evening, but overcame a 14-point deficit with 8:06 remaining to tie the game at 57-57 with 1:30 left. Five different players contributed to the Cardinals' 16-2 run with Heath and Jess Cherenza '15 each scoring four points while Lashley and Jackie Browne '16 both sank a trey with Wessells adding a bucket. Still, Vassar scored six straight points, all at the line, while Wesleyan came up empty on several scoring attempts down the stretch as the Brewers came away with a 63-59 triumph.
Wesleyan had overcome an eight-point first-half shortfall to tie the game before coming up four points shy of its host at halftime. From there, Vassar extended its lead over the opening 12 minutes of the second period. Vassar also enjoyed a perfect night at the line, bagging all 14 of its free throws.
Cherenza led the Cardinals in scoring with 12 points while Heath chipped in with 11.
Next up for the team is the Courtyard by Marriott tournament at Wesleyan during which the Cardinals take on Johnson & Wales in a first-ever meeting of the teams Fri., Nov. 30. The other first-round game features Mitchell against St. Joseph's (LI). Winners and losers face each other Sat., Dec. 1.