Score: Tufts 77, Wesleyan 73
Records: Wesleyan (14-4, 2-3 NESCAC); Tufts (14-2, 5-0 NESCAC)
Location: Medford, Mass.
Date: Friday, January 20
Time: 7 p.m.
The Lead: The 24th-ranked Wesleyan University men's basketball team dropped a difficult NESCAC matchup on the road at No. 4 Tufts University Friday night, 77-73.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- It was a competitive first half from the beginning, as the game went back-and-forth often.
- Trailing 13-12, Tufts went on a 10-0 run capped off by a Patrick Racy free throw at the 7:36 mark.
- However, the Cardinals responded with a run of their own and scored 11 unanswered in just two minutes of play as a three-pointer by Jordan Bonner '19 put Wesleyan back on top with 5:08 remaining, 24-22.
- The final five minutes of the first half featured six ties and seven lead changes.
- KJ Garrett drove the length of the court for a lay-up at the buzzer to even the score at 38-38 at halftime.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Vincent Pace hit one from downtown 37 seconds into the second half to give the Jumbos a lead, and Tufts would never trail in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
- Wesleyan went on a 6-0 run shortly after that was capped off by a jumper from Kevin O'Brien '19 at the 9:56 mark to tie the game.
- Minutes later, the Jumbos scored five unanswered to go ahead by six, but the Cardinals once again slowly cut into the lead and knotted the game at 69-69 after a lay-up by Bonner with 3:23 to play.
- Wesleyan had its opportunities in the closing minutes but Tufts would hit its free throws down the stretch to seal the win as the Jumbos held on, 77-73.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Four players scored in double-figures for the Cardinals as Harry Rafferty '17 led the way with 15 points. Salim Green '19 and Joseph Kuo '17 finished with 13 each, and Nathan Krill '18 added 10. Kuo also finished with eight rebounds and three blocks, while O'Brien grabbed a game-high nine boards and dished out a team-high three assists.
- The Jumbos had four players in double-figures as well, as Garrett scored a game-high 16 points, Tarik Smith scored 13, Ben Engvall added 11 and Racy scored 10. Garrett and Engvall also corralled seven rebounds each, while Smith recorded a game-high four assists.
- Wesleyan held a slight 50-49 edge in rebounding. Friday's game featured 10 ties and 16 lead changes.
- Wesleyan returns to the court tomorrow, Jan. 21 and is scheduled to play at Bates at 3 p.m.
- The Jumbos are set to host Conn. College tomorrow at 3 p.m. as well.