In the first-ever meeting of the teams, Wesleyan recovered from an 18-11 first-half deficit to take the lead for good on a basket by Jess Cherenza '15 (#10, left side photo) with 6:25 remaining in the opening period, 26-25, and go on for a 69-58 non-conference win over Franklin & Marshall Sat., Jan. 4. Cherenza finished with a career-high 15 points while Jenna Klaes '14 (#14, right side photo) led Wesleyan with 18, also a career best.
Cherenza's jumper sparked a 9-0 Wesleyan run that resulted in a 33-25 lead with 5:10 left before intermission. The Diplomats narrowed the difference to 38-36 at halftime. After netting the opening hoop of the second half, the Cardinals led by at least four the rest of the way with the margin peaking at 12, 62-50, with six minutes to go. F&M got no closer than seven in the final 10 minutes of the contest.
The Diplomats shot a brisk 55.6 percent in the first half and held a 22-11 edge on the boards but committed 19 turnovers. Wesleyan shot 41.2 percent over the first 20 minutes and made nine miscues. Wesleyan held F&M to 25-percent shooting in the second half while hitting 46.2 percent of its own shots. Rebounds favored F&M, 44-27. KellyAnn Rooney '14 and Kaylie Williams '16 paced Wesleyan with five each. F&M finished with 27 turnovers as the Cardinals picked up 13 steals. Wesleyan had 15 turnovers. Also reaching double-digits in scoring in the game for Wesleyan were Williams (12) and Cherkira Lashley '15 (10).
Wesleyan's next outing was another non-conference tilt at home Tues., Jan. 7 vs. Simmons. Wesleyan raced out to a 15-2 lead in the opening 5:40 of the game and never looked back in winning, 81-45. Wesleyan begins NESCAC play this weekend in its next contests, facing Colby Fri., Jan. 10 and Bowdoin Sat., Jan. 11, both on the road. Both games will be webcast. Click < here > for Colby and click < here > for Bowdoin.
The Cardinals scored on seven of their first 12 possessions while Simmons had just one basket and eight turnovers to start the game as Wesleyan built the early 13-point lead. The difference grew to 20 with eight minutes left in the period (26-6) and peaked at 27 (40-13) before the Sharks ended the half on an 11-5 run to narrow the margin at intermission to 45-24. Ahead 56-32 in the second half, Wesleyan scored 12 in a row for a commanding 66-32 lead. The 36-point final margin was the largest of the game. Wesleyan is now 2-0 vs. Simmons, having won the first game between the teams in Boston a year ago, 57-42.
Wesleyan got 14 points from Rooney and 12 points and eight rebounds from Williams. Jackie Brown '16 added 10 points. Lashley chipped in with seven points and nine rebounds.
(photos by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)