Men's Basketball Wins Another Overtime Thriller, Defeat Hamilton 82-76

Photo by Jonas Powell '18
Photo by Jonas Powell '18

Middletown, Conn. - It took extra time yet again for the Cardinals, who were playing their second game in as many days, and their second overtime game this week, but they were able to pull out a 82-76 victory over visiting NESCAC opponent Hamilton College on Saturday afternoon at Silloway Gymnasium. The Cardinals, who were looking to begin a new winning streak after their 11 game streak was ended last night against Middlebury, improve to 12-2 (1-1) while Hamilton falls to 7-6 (0-2).

The first half saw the Cardinals get out to a quick 6-0 lead thanks to  Senior Rashid Epps, who scored the opening six points. The Cardinals lead would be short lived as Hamilton battled back and took the lead on a layup by Sophomore Jack Dwyer, which gave the Continentals a one point advantage at the 14:17 mark of the first half. The Continentals would take that lead and build upon it, eventually getting up six points on the Cardinals. Dwyer was very instrumental in the run, scoring nine points in 3:10 of play. Wesleyan began to make a small run, getting the lead down to two, thanks to free-throws by Junior Harry Rafferty, but Hamilton was able to go on another run and get the led back up to seven at 23-16 thanks to a jumper by Sophomore Joe Pucci. Two made free-throws by Cardinal Junior PJ Reed followed by an three-point play by Junior Joseph Kuo, brought the Cardinals to within two points. Again, Hamilton would build their led back up to six thanks to a jumper by Senior Ajani Santos. That was the motivation the Cardinals needed as as back-to-back three pointers by Reed and Senior Jack Mackey gave the game its first tie at 29 all. The Cardinals would then go on a 9-2 run to end the half and they would go into the locker room leading 38-31. Dwyer would lead Hamilton with nine points, while Mackey scored 10 for the Cardinals.

The second half began with the Cardinals holding onto their lead. A three-pointer by Mackey would give the Cardinals another seven point advantage at 42-35 with 14:43 remaining. Hamilton would come roaring back as they would go on a 6-0 run to bring themselves to within one point of the lead. Two free throws by Cardinals' Senior Joe Edmonds brought the Cardinals lead back to three, but Freshman Peter Hoffmann nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 44. Wesleyan responded thanks to a three by Edmonds, and a layup by Senior BJ Davis would give the Cardinals another 5 point advantage with 9:35 left. Not to be outdone, Hamilton came back again, as they did the entire game, and were able to once again take the lead. Santos tied the game with a jumper and two free throws by Freshman Michael Grassey gave Hamilton the lead at 56-54 with 6:20 to go. An Epps layup would tie the game for the fourth time, and a three by Rafferty would give the Cardinals the edge again at 59-56. The teams then traded buckets, with Wesleyan able to get ahead by as much as three. But each time Hamilton came back. Kuo would make one of two free throws with 1:48 remaining in the game to give the Cardinals a one point advantage, but that was short lived as Grassey hit a clutch jumper to give Hamilton back the lead at 66-65 with 1:37 left. Kuo would yet again make one of two free throws to tie the game at 66, and last second tries by both teams for victory were unsuccessful, and the teams headed into overtime tied at 66.

In the overtime, Wesleyan got out to a 68-66 advantage thanks to a layup by Kuo, who finished with 11 points in the game. Free throws by Hoffmann, who finished with 12 points, tied the game yet again at 68. After that, the Cardinals were were able to take the lead on a Davis layup, and they would be able to build up a seven point lead, and this time there was not enough time for a Hamilton comeback as the Cardinals would go onto win 82-76.

For Hamilton, Grassey and Dwyer lead the team with 16 points a piece. 

The Cardinals were lead by Davis who finished with a team high 19 points. Mackey finished with 13 points and Kuo lead the team with nine rebounds. 

Wesleyan will return to action on Friday January 15 as they travel to Amherst. The game will be at 7pm. Hamilton next plays on the 15th as well as they battle Bates at 7pm.