Davis Knocks Down Game-Winner to Lift No. 22 Wesleyan Over Little Three Rival Williams, 66-63

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

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – BJ Davis '16 hit the game-winning three-pointer with just :02 remaining in regulation to lift the No. 22 Wesleyan University men's basketball team to a thrilling 66-63 win over NESCAC archrival Williams College Friday night on Senior Day. It was Davis' second game-winning shot against the Ephs this season as the Cardinals claimed a share of the Little Three title.

RECORDS
Wesleyan: 18-4, 5-3 NESCAC 
Williams: 13-8, 3-4 NESCAC

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Wesleyan trailed by as much as eight points in the second half but rallied to pull off the thrilling victory.
  • Bobby Cassey tied the game at 63-63 with just :37 remaining following a spectacular and-one play as he was fouled on a lay-up. On the Cardinals ensuing possession, a missed three-pointer led to a jump ball, with the arrow in Wesleyan's favor. With the shot clock reset, the home team settled for the last attempt as Davis pulled up from three-point range after crossing up his defender to free himself for an open look, and he knocked it down.
  • The senior finished with a game-high 24 points on 4-of-9 shooting from downtown, while also grabbing five rebounds. Jack Mackey '16 finished with 15 points, all in the first half, and a team-high three assists, and Joseph Kuo '17 scored 10 and pulled in five boards. Rashid Epps '16 led the team in rebounding with 10.
  • Three players scored in double-figures for the Ephs. Edward Flynn scored a team-high 15, while Daniel Aronowitz and Cole Teal dropped 13 and 12, respectively. Kyle Scadlock led all Williams players with 10 rebounds, and Aronowitz dished out a game-high four assists.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS

  • Williams held a lead for the majority of the first half and went ahead by six at the 14:49 mark following a three-pointer from James Heskett to make it 9-3 Ephs.
  • Trailing 13-8 with 9:35 to play in the first half, the Cardinals scored six unanswered to take their first lead of the game. Mackey capped off the run with an impressive drive to the basket as he finished with a difficult lay-up.
  • The game featured five lead changes and seven ties down the stretch.
  • After a three-pointer by Casey gave Williams a 29-26 lead, Mackey answered as he pulled up from well beyond the three-point range, with a defender in his face, to even the score.
  • Just over a minute later, the senior made another impressive play as he hit a floater over a Williams defender as the Cardinals took a 34-33 lead at halftime.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS

  • Teal made back-to-back three-pointers to open up the second half for Williams as the Ephs jumped out to a 39-34 lead.
  • At the 14:31 mark, Teal hit another one from downtown to give Williams an eight-point advantage.
  • However, Harry Rafferty '17 hit one from beyond-the-arc over a minute later, and following a lay-up from Kuo, Nathan Krill '18 stole an Ephs' pass and finished with a fast-break dunk to cut the deficit to one, 47-46.
  • Williams held a lead for the majority of the second half, until Davis went on a scoring spree. The senior converted a three-point play at the 3:57 mark to give Wesleyan its first lead since halftime (59-56), and followed up with an impressive three-pointer as he crossed up his defender and drilled it from deep, forcing a Williams timeout.
  • After a free throw by Davis with :54 remaining put the Cardinals up by three, Cassey knotted the game at 63-63 before Davis hit the game-winner.
  • The senior from Hamden, Conn. scored the last 15 points of the game for Wesleyan in his final regular season game in Silloway Gymnasium.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE

  • With the win, Wesleyan completed the two-game series sweep over the Ephs in regular season action. The Cardinals went 1-1 against Amherst, who also finished 2-0 against Williams, giving Wesleyan a share of the Little Three title for the first time since the 1990-91 season.
  • Earlier this year, Davis defeated Williams with a jumper at the buzzer to give Wesleyan a 58-56 win on the road.
  • The Cardinals' four senior class members were honored before the start of tonight's game – Davis, Mackey, Epps and Joe Edmonds.

UP NEXT

  • Wesleyan is back in action Friday, Feb. 12 and will head to Bowdoin for a 7 p.m. NESCAC matchup.
  • Williams returns to the court Sunday, Feb. 7 and will play Conn. College on the road. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.