Leading from start to finish, Wesleyan took control midway through the first half with an 8-0 run to push a 15-11 margin to a 23-11 lead and never looked back on its way to a 63-45 NESCAC triumph vs. visiting Trinity Sat., Jan 5. While Trinity holds a commanding 41-21 edge in the series, Wesleyan has won 10 of the last 13 meetings including last year's game at Trinity, 54-46. Wesleyan then traveled to Simmons Tues., Jan. 8 for a non-conference affair to begin an eight-game road trip as Wesleyan will not play at home again until February 8. Wesleyan improved its seasonal record to 8-4 with a 57-42 victory over the Sharks.
Wesleyan capped its 8-0 run vs. Trinity with a pair of inside buckets from Kendra Harris '13 (#35, photo insert upper left), who led all scorers with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Once ahead by 12, Wesleyan only briefly had its lead dip under double digits when the Bantams got a basket near the end of the first half to make it a 31-22 game. Wesleyan closed out the first-half scoring with a three-pointer from KellyAnn Rooney '14 (#11, main photo), who ended the game with 12 points, for a 34-22 margin. In the second half, the difference grew as large as 24 at 63-39 with 4:20 remaining before the Bantams scored the game's final six points. Also in double-digit scoring for Wesleyan was Amber Wessells '14 with 10 points along with four assists. Wesleyan got a team-high seven rebounds from Dreisen Heath '15, who also contributed nine points.
At Simmons, the Cardinals again led from start to finish, jumping out to a 9-0 lead three minutes in. Simmons kept it relatively close for the next six minutes, but Wesletab eventaully took its first double-digit edge, 23-13, with 7:22 on the clock. Wesleyan settled for a 30-21 halftime margin. The lead was never less than eight in the second half and reach 18 when Harris canned a pair at the line with 11:04 to play for a 48-30 advantage. Wesleyan held at least a 12-point bulge the rest of the way. No Cardinal scored more than nine points while seven players accounted for betweeen five and nine points. Wessells collected nine points while Jess Cherenza '15 and Heath added eight. Cherenza and Cherkira Lashley '15 paced the squad with six rebounds apiece.
Wesleyan returned to NESCAC action Fri., Jan. 11 at Williams before heading to Middlebury Sat., Jan. 12. Both games went the way of the host, 68-50 for Williams, and 62-45 for Middlebury. The Ephs used a 21-1 burst late in the furst half to take control of the game, turning a slim 10-8 lead into a 31-9 margin with 7:06 to go in the period. The lead was never less than 18 the rest of the way and reached as high as 28 in the second half. Eight points led the Cardinals in scoring, with Rooney, Heath and Lashley matching the number. Heath also had a team-best six rebounds.
Against Middebury, Wesleyan held a 36-34 lead with 11:32 left as neither team led by more than nine to that juncture. Last tied at 38-38, the Panthers took the lead for good on a free throw with 10:17 on the clock. The free throw started a decisive 13-2 run the spotted the host a 51-40 lead with five minutes to go, and turned into a 24-7 conclusion to the last quarter of the contest as Middlebury pulled away.
Jackie Browne '16 and Cherenza paced the Cardinals with eight points and Lashley grabed six boards.
Ahead for the team is a trip to nationally ranked and undefeated Tufts Fri., Jan. 18 to start a NESCAC weekend that finishes up at Bates Sat., Jan. 19. The Bates game has a webcast & livestats available for the 4 pm start.