Wesleyan's Historic Run Comes to an End as Cardinals Fall to RIC, 62-55

Photo by Alex Serbetzian
Photo by Alex Serbetzian

THE BASICS:

Score: Rhode Island College 62, Wesleyan 55
Records:
No. 9 Wesleyan (11-1); Rhode Island College (5-6)
Location: Middletown, Conn. (Silloway Gymnasium)
Date: Tuesday, January 3
Time: 7 p.m.
The Lead: The ninth-ranked Wesleyan University men's basketball team saw its 11-game win streak come to an end Tuesday night as the Cardinals were edged by non-conference foe Rhode Island College, 62-55. Wesleyan's impressive 11-straight wins to start the season was its second-best start in program history, trailing only the 1911-12 Cardinals squad that finished the year with a perfect 13-0 mark.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Anchormen led for much of the first half.
  • At the nine minute mark, Joseph Kuo '17 hit a jumper to even the score at 11-11. However, RIC responded with a 9-0 run capped off by a basket from Jimmy Fritzson.
  • Seconds later, Justin Campbell gave the Anchormen what would be their largest lead of the game as they went up 24-14 with 2:46 to play in the half.
  • Wesleyan retaliated and went on a 7-0 run as a three-pointer from Nathan Krill '18 cut the deficit to three, 24-21, before RIC scored four unanswered to take a 28-21 halftime lead.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Wesleyan wouldn't back down in the second and got within one on several occasions.
  • Trailing for the first 12:12 of the half, the Cardinals briefly regained the lead after a lay-up from Kuo with 7:48 on the clock.
  • However, a pair of free throws from Benjamin Vezele at the 6:36 mark put RIC back on top, as the visitor's never looked back.
  • With 1:50 remaining on the clock, Jonathan Batista heaved up a three-pointer with the shot clock running down and hit his first field goal of the game to put the Anchormen up, 55-49.
  • RIC would hit its free throws down the stretch to seal the upset victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Kuo had a stellar game in a losing effort as he scored 18 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. He also finished with five rebounds and four blocks. Joining him in double-figure scoring was Krill with 13 and a team-high nine boards.
  • Four players scored in double-figures for RIC as Vezele and Domonique Bull each recorded a double-double. Vezele finished with a team-high 17 points and 10 boards, while Bull finished with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Jovel Beckford added 11 points and Fritzson scored 10.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

  • The Cardinals entered tonight's game ranked No. 9 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll. It is the first time in program history that Wesleyan ranks within the top 10 in the poll.

UP NEXT:

  • The Cardinals are back in action Friday, Jan. 6 and will head to Middlebury, Vt. for its NESCAC opener against the Panthers. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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