Jeremy Kaminer '10 (#11, photo courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) raced up the right sideline, ran into a double-team and launched a 30-foot shot that hit squarely on the backboard and went through the hoop as the buzzer sounded to make a 72-69 winner of Wesleyan over Little Three rival Amherst in Middletown Tues., Jan. 6.
Wesleyan had not defeated Amherst since Feb. 9, 2001 (16 games) and had lost nine straight home games to the Lord Jeffs since Jan. 13, 1999. Amherst, ranked fifth nationally in Division III , had played in two consecutive NCAA Division III Championship games, winning in 2007 and dropping the title game to Washington U. (Mo.) last year.
The Cardinals trailed throughout the contest, down by double-digits in both halves. Wesleyan faced its largest deficit at 55-43 with 12 minutes to go before going on a 22-5 run the resulted in a 65-60 Wesleyan lead with 2:45 to go. Dave Maltz '11 put Wesleyan ahead, 61-60, with an inside move, and Jason Mendell '12 finished the stretch with a 2/3 length of the court drive for a layup. But Amherst eventually came back to tie the game at 69-69 on a three-pointer with :06.7 to go. Wesleyan got the ball inbounds to Kaminer in the backcourt, and he moved up the right side before sending the game-winning shot toward its destination just before the final horn sounded.
Wesleyan also got 19 points from Stan Grayson '09, who posted a double-double with 10 rebounds. Kaminer shot 8-for-14 in the game and 4-for-5 on three-pointers en route to a career-high 23 points. Amherst came into the contest leading the country in three-point shooting percentage at 47.7 percent, but was held to just 8-for-29 shooting from behind the arc (27.6 percent).
To See Kaminer's winning shot, go to the following Quicktime link:
Wesleyan closed out its five-game home stand, dating back to Dec. 9, by hosting Albertus Magnus Thurs., Jan. 8. While Kaminer improved upon his career single-game scoring mark by pumping in 29, it wasn't quite enough as Albertus posted its second-ever win over Wesleyan in 21 all-time meetings, 85-83.
The Cardinals held a 77-69 lead with 4:50 to go but the Falcons went on a 14-1 run to grab an 83-78 lead with :50 showing on the clock. After a Falcon free throw and a Grayson basket, Kevin Scura '09 hit a three-pointer to get the Cards within one, 84-83. Another Albertus free throw made it 85-83. In the closing seconds, Scura attempted another three-pointer which glanced off the front of the rim. Mendell rebounded the miss and shot from 10 feet with a chance to tie. His shot came up short, Albertus collared the board and the final horn sounded.
With his 52 points on 56-percent shooting to go along with seven three-pointers, nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals, Kaminer was named NESCAC Co-Player of the Week and was chosen for the D3hoops.com Team of the Week.
The Cardinals were on the road Tues., Jan. 13 for their next game, a meeting with N.Y.U. for the first time in 10 years. In the Big Apple, Wesleyan built a 28-18 halftime lead and still held a five-point margin in the second half before a 15-0 N.Y.U run over a six-minute span gave the homestanders a 56-46 lead with 5:25 to play. The final margin was 66-54 for N.Y.U. Playing without the injured Kaminer, Wesleyan got 18 points from Scura, who hit five three-pointers, and 15 from Grayson to pace the offense.
Wesleyan embarked upon its NESCAC schedule over the weekend, taking on Amherst again Fri., Jan. 16, this time on the road and minus Kaminer, before finishing up at Trinity Sat., Jan. 17. Amherst, now ranked ninth in the country, jumped ahead 18-5, extended the margin to 23-7 and made short work of the evening in taking a 76-46 decision. The Lord Jeffs led 47-18 at intermission and let Wesleyan get no closer than 18 in the second period. Mendell paced the Cards and tied for game scoring honors with 13.