Wesleyan Edges No. 3 Williams in OT Thriller, 72-67

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

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Jordan Bonner '18 scored a game-high 22 points, including six in overtime, to help lead the Wesleyan University men's basketball team to a thrilling 72-67 win on the road against No. 3 Williams College Saturday night. The game, which does not count towards the NESCAC standings, featured 14 ties and 14 lead changes with the largest margin a six-point Wesleyan lead in the opening minutes.

The victory keeps the Cardinals' winning streak intact as they improve to 6-0 overall while handing the Ephs their first loss of 2017-18 (5-1).

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Cardinals jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the game but Williams responded with an 8-0 run of its own.
  • The first half went back-and-forth often. Trailing 14-13, Wesleyan scored eight of the next 10 points to go up 21-16 with 10:17 on the clock.
  • However, the Ephs retaliated once again and scored seven unanswered to go back on top. Their largest lead of the half was five points following a dunk from Matthew Karpowicz with 4:13 to play (30-25).
  • Wesleyan trailed 32-28 with 2:23 remaining but scored the final four points of the half as a basket by David Dixon '20 evened the game at 32-32 at the break.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • A lay-up by Jordan James '21 early in the second half put the Cardinals on top by five, 37-32, but Williams evened the score three minutes later following a jumper by Bobby Casey.
  • Neither team led by more than four points in the final 20 minutes of regulation as both programs exchanged baskets often.
  • A pair of free throws by Mike Greenman put the home team ahead by four (57-53) with 4:14 to play. However, it would be the last time the Ephs would score in regulation.
  • Nathan Krill '18 cut the deficit to two with 3:41 remaining and a nice drive and dish by Kevin O'Brien '19 to James tied the game at 57-57 with 2:26 on the clock.
  • Krill had a look from deep in the closing seconds that just missed, and a heave by Kyle Scadlock as time experienced was no good as the game went into overtime.

OVERTIME HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Wesleyan scored the first four points of OT off a pair of free throws and a lay-up by Jordan Sears '18, but a three by Casey followed by a dunk from Scadlock put Williams on top 62-61 with 2:52 to play.
  • Roughly a minute later, O'Brien drove to the basket and finished with a nice reverse lay-up to put the visitors ahead 65-64.
  • Jordan Bonner '19 scored with 1:03 remaining to put Wesleyan up 67-65 but a pair of free throws by Greenman with :40 on the clock tied the game once again.
  • Bonner put the Cardinals back on top with two more free throws, and a steal by Sears with :11 on the clock gave the ball back to Wesleyan with Bonner returning to the line. The junior hit both shots to essentially seal the victory.  

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Wesleyan shot 37.5% (24-64) from the floor and 33.3% (5-15) from downtown while Williams posted similar numbers with a 37.1% (23-62) field goal mark and 27.3% (9-33) mark from downtown. The Cardinals held a commanding 51-38 edge in rebounding and dominated the paint, outscoring the Ephs 30-16 down low.
  • Bonner finished with 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting while going 8-of-10 from the line. Sears joined him in double-figures with 10 points and added 10 rebounds for the double-double. Krill led all players with 11 boards and O'Brien finished with eight points, nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks.
  • Four players scored in double-figures for Williams who was led by Casey's 17 off the bench on 6-of-11 shooting. He also went 5-of-7 from downtown. Scadlock dropped 15 and pulled in 10 rebounds, James Heskett scored 14 and Greenman added 12.
  • Wesleyan has now won five of the last six matchups against Williams dating back to the 2014-15 season.

UP NEXT:

  • The Cardinals are back in action Wednesday, Dec. 6 and will play at Vassar beginning at 7 p.m.