Ending a four-game skid with a vital NESCAC win at Bates Sat., Jan. 19, Wesleyan got 24 points from top scorer Shasha Brown '13 (#11, right side photo) and 18 points from Mike Callaghan '13 while Glen Thomas '14 led all players with 13 rebounds. The Cardinals led from start to finish, forging as much as a 16-point lead in the first half as Wesleyan took a 26-10 lead with six minutes remaining in the period. The half ended with Wesleyan holding a 30-17 margin.
Bates did get as close as three, 41-38, by outscoring the Cardinals 21-11 over the opening 12 minutes of the second period. A three-pointer by Derick Beresford '13 (#3, left side photo) with 7:37 left helped Wesleyan maintain its margin and 6-for-7 shooting at the line by Brown in the last minute prevented Bates from gaining any ground as Wesleyan secured a 61-51 victory.
Brown also had 21 points in a tough 77-75 setback at Tufts Fri., Jan. 18. His 45 points over the weekend upped his career total to 1,624, leaving him a mere 69 points away from assuming career scoring leadership at Wesleyan. At his current seasonal average of 17 points, he will break the record with his first basket during the Cardinals' final home NESCAC weekend against Bowdoin and Colby beginning Fri., Feb. 8.
The game at Tufts was an uphill battle for the Cardinals as the Jumbos pulled ahead by as many as 15 late in the first half. Wesleyan trailed by between eight and 14 points for nearly 10 minutes in the second half before starting a charge, with Beresford leading the way with 26 points, to cut the gap to three, 59-56, with 9:49 on the clock. But the Jumbos pushed out to a 13-point lead, 71-58, with 5:04 to go. Undeterred, Wesleyan made it a 76-74 game on a Beresfoird trey with :10 left. Making just one of two free throws with :08 to go, the Jumbos chose to foul rather than allow Wesleyan an opportunity for a tying three-pointer. Much like the Middlebury game the weekend before, Brown made his first free throw, then purposely missed the second. Wesleyan got the ball back with a fraction of a second left when the ball went out-of-bounds off Tufts. But a final potential tying shot by the Cardinals just missed and Tufts escaped with the win.
Beresford had 31 points over the weekend, upping his career total to 957. Wesleyan will be looking to have three members of the class of 2013 as 1,000-point scorers as Callaghan continues to climb the leader list, now with 1,103 to rank 11th. It will be the first time in program history that three classmates have all be 1,000-point scorers.
Wesleyan is back in action Sat., Jan. 26 with a visit to Conn. College for another NESCAC contest.