Jason Mendell '12 Highlights Senior Day with 17 Points in Solid 65-50 NESCAC Men's Basketball Win over Hamilton
In the first game between the two NESCAC rivals since Dec. 5, 2006, Wesleyan captured the inaugural NESCAC conference game against Hamilton with a 65-50 home victory Sun., Feb. 5. Wesleyan improved to 17-5 on the year, 5-3 in NESCAC play and stands one victory shy of the school record for wins in a season. It also was the 200th career win for Wesleyan Head Coach Joe Reilly, who picked up his 46th Wesleyan win to go along with 154 triumphs during his 11 seasons at Bates, also a NESCAC college.
Wesleyan trailed for a total of 20 seconds in the contest, down 4-3 at 15:35 of the first half before taking the lead for good at 15:15 on a three-pointer by Jason Mendell '12 (#34, main photo), the lone senior on the Wesleyan squad being featured on senior day during the team's final regular-season home game. Mendell responded by hitting 7-of-10 from the field, including 3-for-5 on treys, for a game-high 17 points. The first-half lead varied between two and 10 points for the Cardinals over the last 15 minutes of the period, reaching its height when Mike Callaghan '13 (#44, photo insert lower left) hit a three-pointer in the closing seconds for a 31-21 margin at intermission. Callaghan finished the game with 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds.
Hamilton got no closer than seven early in the second half, 33-26, before Wesleyan used a 16-4 run to seize control with a commanding 49-30 edge with 11:38 to go. Mendell hit a pair from long range to trigger the burst. The lead never fell below 13 from that point on and reached as many as 23 (60-37, 5:42 left).
Wesleyan, firmly entrenched in the meat of the NESCAC playoff picture, closes out its season with a trip to Maine, facing Bowdoin Fri., Feb. 10 and Colby Sat., Feb. 11. A pair of wins would secure a first-round home game for the Cardinals. Both games will be webcast. The Bowdoin game can be viewed by clicking < here
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