Leading from start to finish, Wesleyan rolled to a 56-34 women's basketball victory over visiting Worcester St. Thurs., Dec. 5 in non-conference action. The teams have now split the four all-time games played between the schools with Wesleyan winning the last two. Jumping out to a 9-3 margin after the opening 5:14, the Cardinals pushed the margin to 18-5 after 13 minutes of play and extended the difference to a 32-13 edge at intermission. Worcester made just four of 29 attempts (13.8 percent) from the field in the opening 20 minutes while Wesleyan hit 39.3 percent. The lead grew as large as 26 in the second half, peaking at 51-25 with 9:10 remaining. Worcester got as close as 19 in the closing moments before a final Wesleyan trey accounted for the 22-point win. Wesleyan was led by Kaylie Williams '16 (#20, photo), who took game-high honors in points and rebounds with 12 and nine, respectively.
Visiting Salve Regina led for only 46 seconds during its matchup against non-conference rival Wesleyan Tues, Dec. 3, but it was long enough to skate away with a 3-2 victory in the final game of the first semester for Wesleyan. Wesleyan plays again at home Fri., Jan. 3 against St. Catherine's of Minnesota. Wesleyan assumed a 1-0 lead at 17:24 of the second period when Jordan Schildhaus '15 stuffed in the rebound of a junior Cara Jankowski '15 shot that had been saved by the Seahawk keeper. Jankowski's shot came after a crossing pass from Jessica Brennan '17 (#23 main photo). The goal came on the power play and was the second goal of the season for Schildhaus. Salve tied the game just 1:17 later when the Seahawks threw the puck toward the Wesleyan net from several feet below the goal line on the left side. The puck hit the back of Rivard's pad and ricocheted into the goal. Wesleyan regained the lead with 7:10 to play on a perfectly placed slapshot from the right circle by Brennan, her team-best fourth goal of the campaign, that went in just inside the right post waist high after receiving a cross-ice pass from Jankowski, again with Wesleyan on the power play.
Amber Wessells '14 (#22, left side photo) broke a 64-64 tie at the 1:15 mark of the second half with a three pointer from high on the left side, giving Wesleyan the lead for good as the Cardinals hung on to defeat the visiting St. Joseph Blue Jays, 70-66, Sun., Dec. 1. The victory improved Wesleyan's all-time record vs. St. Joe to 12-1. Each team generated a reasonable lead in the contest, Wesleyan with a 23-14 edge in the opening period and St. Joe, 54-45 at the 13-minute mark of the second half. The Cardinals narrowed the gap to two, 54-52, two minutes later on a three-pointer by Dreisen Heath '15 and a pair of inside baskets from Kaylie Williams '16 for seven straight points.
Getting balanced scoring, including 10 points from tournament MVP Rashid Epps '16 (right side in photo) and 11 points from all-tournament team choice BJ Davis '16 (left side in photo), Wesleyan broke a 14-14 tie with 14:03 to go in the first half on a three-pointer by Harry Rafferty '17 (team-high 14 points) and never looked back en route to a 75-64 win over host UMass Boston to take the title in the 29th annual Harbor Invitational Sat., Nov. 30. Wesleyan had taken the Harbor Invite title exactly 12 years ago to the day with a 78-71 victory over UMB, the last time the Cardinals took part in the proceedings. After going ahead 17-14, Wesleyan used the trey as impetus to finish the half on a 33-17 run, taking a 47-31 lead into the locker room at intermission. The Cardinals shot 46 percent in the opening 20 minutes and went 6-for-12 on three-pointers to open up the 16-point bulge.
Elliott Vorel '17 (#9, main photo) took a lead pass from Jaren Taenaka '16 and wristed home a rising shot from the slot with 15 minutes remaining in the third period to even the score between the Cardinals and the visiting Wentworth Institute Leopards at 2-2. The score stayed unchanged over the final 20 minutes of the contest Sat., Nov. 30, including a five-minute overtime. For Vorel, it was his team-leading seventh goal of the year to go along with seven assists for 14 points. He now has scored at least one point in each of his six collegiate contests. Wesleyan had gotten on the board first at 8:53 of the opening period when Alex Carlacci '16 snapped off a rising shot from the left circle that hit the middle of the twine behind the Wentworth keeper. Keith Buehler '14 set up the play with a pass to Carlacci.
Scoring a career-high 17 points while grabbing 14 rebunds, his fifth duble-double in six games this season, Rashid Epps '16 (#00, left side of photo) paced Wesleyan to a comfortable 74-59 victory over Emerson in the first round of the Harbor Invitational at UMass Boston Fri., Nov. 29. The win puts the Cardinals in the championship contest Sat, Nov. 30 at 3 p.m. against the host, which downed St. Joseph's (Vt.), 84-68, in its first-round matchup. The game will have both LiveStats and a webcast. Wesleyan took the lead for good 3:25 into the contest when Harry Raffery '17 (#22, right side photo) buried a three-pointer from the right corner off an assist by Epps to spot Wesleyan a 5-2 lead. Joe Edmonds '16 canned a trey with 9:32 left in the first half to give Wesleyan its first double-digit advantage, 24-12.
Trailing 2-1 early in the third period, the Cardinals rattled off four unanswered goals in a span of 7:50 to seize a 5-2 lead with 7:52 left in the game and came away with their third win without a loss all-time vs. Stonehill behind a 5-3 victory Tues., Nov. 26. Wesleyan will play out-of-conference in its next matchup as well, hosting Wentworth Sat., Nov. 30. Both Elliott Vorel '17 (#9, left side photo) and Keith Buehler '14 (#13, right side photo) picked up a goal and an assist in the contest. For Vorel, it upped his team-leading scoring to six goals and seven assists for 13 points as he has posted at least one point in each of his five career games. Buehler has played in four games so far this year and has at least a point in each outing with two goals and five assists for seven points.
Scoring a career-high 21 points, hitting six of seven field goals, including a 3-for-4 effort from behind the arc, BJ Davis '16 (#4, left side photo) powered the Cardinals to a tight 74-71 victory over Elms in the first-ever meeting of the teams Tues., Nov. 26. Davis did his damage coming off the bench and playing just 23 minutes. His previous high game came against MCLA last season when he gathered 19 points. Adding to the Cardinals' winning performance was Rashid Epps '16 (#00, right side photo), who logged his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Inaugurating the home season by hosting Amherst Mon, Nov. 25, the Cardinals got some outstanding swims from Angela Slevin '15 (photo) as Wesleyan fell to its Little Three rival, 109-85. Starting out with the best split in the 100 backstroke during the initial 400 medley relay event with a 1:00.04 clocking, Slevin went on to win the 200 back with a time of 2:07.39. She followed up with a tremendous performance in the 400 IM, taking second place in 4:38.57, just 1.2 seconds over the Wesleyan program record set in 2012.
Shooting 53.7 percent from the floor in the first half while making seven three pointers and holding Albertus Magnus to 29.6 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes, Wesleyan moved out to an overwhelming 57-32 lead at halftime and came away an 89-65 victor in the third and final game of the Courtyard by Marriott Tournament at Wesleyan Sun., Nov. 24. Wesleyan went 2-0 during the tournament with a 58-47 win over UMass Boston as well. Albertus went 0-2, falling in overtime to UMB. Moving to 5-0 on the year, Wesleyan is undefeated after five contests for the first time since the 2004-05 season when Wesleyan began the year with 11 consecutive victories. The Cardinals got 20 points and nine rebounds from Dreisen Heath '15 (#13, photo) to pace the squad in both departments while Kaylie Williams '16 added 13 points and eight boards. KellyAnn Rooney '14 also hit double-digits in the scoring department with 12 points. Wesleyan posted a 56-31 edge on the glass in the contests.