MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan University men's basketball team held ninth-ranked Amherst College to a mere 44 points on 20.6% (13-63) shooting en route to a commanding 71-44 Little Three win Monday night at Silloway Gymnasium.
Wesleyan: 13-4, 1-3 NESCAC
Amherst: 13-2, 3-0 NESCAC
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Cardinals' stingy defense held Amherst to 20.6% (13-63) shooting from the floor and 16.2% (6-37) from three-point range, and also dominated the paint as they outscored the visitor's, 38-12 down low. Wesleyan's bench outscored Amherst's bench as well, 27-9.
- Amherst tied the game at 16-16 with 9:08 to play before Wesleyan regained the lead and never looked back.
- The Cardinals were led by Rashid Epps '16 who posted a double-double with game-highs of 17 points and 12 rebounds. He went 6-of-10 from the floor and recorded two steals, one block and one assist. Joining him in double-figures was Joe Edmonds '16 who registered 11 points, while Jack Mackey '16 dished out a game-high five assists. Wesleyan shot 41.9% (26-62) from the floor.
- Jayde Dawson was the lone scorer in double-figures for Amherst as he tallied 16 points. Jeff Racy grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and scored nine points, and Reid Berman tallied a team-high three assists and grabbed four boards.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- Joseph Kuo '17 scored the first basket of the game with a dunk just 16 seconds into play.
- Wesleyan took an 8-3 lead after a lay-up by Epps, but Amherst retaliated with a 6-0 run.
- The Cardinals quickly answered with a run of their own, however, and scored eight unanswered capped off by a Harry Rafferty '17 layup at the 11:21 mark.
- Amherst knotted the game at 16-16 minutes later, but a pair of free throws by Rafferty put Wesleyan back up.
- With 5:11 to play before the break, Mackey found Epps for a lay-up which jumpstarted an 11-0 Cardinal stretch. During the run, a Davis steal led to a fast break lay-up by the senior guard as he capped off the run with three-point play to give Wesleyan a 31-19 advantage.
- Edmonds later hit one from deep in the closing seconds of the first as the Cardinals took a 34-21 lead into the break.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS
- The second half was all Wesleyan.
- Amherst got within 10 at the 14:12 mark following a free throw from David George, but a three-pointer by Edmonds opened up a 15-0 run by the Cardinals to put the game out of reach.
- During the run, Rafferty found a cutting Edmonds as the senior laid one up to keep the momentum riding in Wesleyan's favor.
- Minutes later, with the shot clock running down, Mackey was forced to shoot and drilled one from deep to put the home team ahead by 25, while also putting the game out of reach.
- Wesleyan cruised in the final minutes en route to the decisive win.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The 27-point victory was Wesleyan's highest over Amherst since the 1983-84 season, in which the Cardinals claimed a 103-76 win at home.
- Tonight's game was a non-conference matchup.
- The Cardinals return to the court Friday, Jan. 22 and will host Tufts at 7 p.m.
- Amherst is back in action Friday as well and will head to Bowdoin for a 7 p.m. contest.