After a runaway victory against Vassar on Friday night, Little Three rival Wesleyan handed men’s basketball (6–1, 0–1 in the NESCAC) their first loss of the year on Saturday.
“We’ve had a quick and exciting start to the season. This time of year, we’re really looking to compete and learn during each game in hopes of improving as much as we can. Wins and loss have all helped with that growth as a group. I’m proud of the team so far, and excited for how much we can still improve individually and collectively,” Head Coach Kevin App said.
Despite less than stellar play by the Cardinals, who turned the ball over a whopping 19 times in the course of the contest, the Ephs’ shooting woes prevented them from taking advantage. The Ephs made only 37 percent of their shots and less than a third of their attempts from three-point range.
Wesleyan dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Ephs 41–23. Wesleyan made the most of their shot attempts, converting on more than half of their shots both in general and from long range.
Wesleyan led for most of the game, jumping out to an early 14–6 lead. Williams answered, however, with an 11–0 run featuring three-pointers by Bobby Casey ’19, James Heskett ’19 and Marcos Soto ’19.
After achieving a 21–16 lead, which would be its largest of the game, Williams failed to score for the next four minutes while Wesleyan closed the gap. With Williams down 29–25, Wesleyan guard Salim Green went on a tear, scoring all of his team’s last nine points in the last two minutes of the half, giving Wesleyan a 38–29 lead going into the half. Led by Green, Wesleyan shot 63.6 percent from the field in the first half and had already opened a significant edge in rebounding, pulling down 17 boards compared to just seven for Williams.
In the second half, Williams strung together a couple of runs to cut the Wesleyan lead to two or three, but was unable to heat up from long-distance.
After a quick five points by Heskett early in the half reduced the margin to just two, Wesleyan extended its lead off two three-pointers by P. J. Reed and back-to-back turnovers by Williams.
The Cardinal lead shrank to six with around two minutes left to play when Dan Aronowitz ’17 hit a three-pointer and Cole Teal ’18 sunk a pair of free throws while Wesleyan struggled to score. However, the next few crucial possessions for Williams failed to produce points down the stretch, and the final buzzer sounded with the score 72–62.
Williams forward Heskett led all scorers with 17 points and led the Ephs in rebounding, pulling down seven boards. Green and Harry Rafferty each notched 14 points for the Cardinals, while Jordan Sears had a game-high nine rebounds. Wesleyan had five players who scored in double digits.
On Friday night, the men defeated Vassar 78–55 in a game which highlighted a stellar effort by Teal, who scored 22 points and made 4 out of 5 three-point attempts on the night. Another standout performer was Kyle Scadlock ’19, who only missed two shots from the field and finished with 15 points.
Williams returns to action tomorrow, when the men host Westfield State in Chandler Gym.