MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – A three-pointer by Austin Hutcherson '21 at the 17:03 mark of the first half gave the No. 22 Wesleyan University men's basketball team a 5-3 lead, and the Cardinals never looked back as they cruised to a 71-57 win over Little Three archrival Amherst College Tuesday night in non-conference action.
Wesleyan (17-5)—who defeated Amherst (14-8) earlier this season—has now won five straight and six of the last seven against its rival. The Cardinals have also dominated the Mammoths in Silloway Gymnasium in recent years, having held Amherst to less than 60 points in the previous three matchups while outscoring them by an average of 18 points.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Amherst opened the game with a 3-0 lead, but the Cardinals responded with a 9-0 run.
- Wesleyan went on another run minutes later as a three by Hutcherson capped off a 6-0 stretch to give the home team a 12-point lead at the 8:54 mark (24-12).
- The Cardinals led by as much as 16 in the first half.
- A 6-0 run by Amherst cut the deficit to 10 following a layup by Joseph Schneider with 00:45 on the clock, however, JR Bascom '18 scored on the other end 30 seconds later to put Wesleyan ahead 36-24 at the half.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Amherst got within single digits at the 17:20 mark of the second half after a basket by Schneider cut the deficit to 38-29. However, it proved to be the closest the visitors would get the rest of the way.
- Shortly after, a massive block by Nathan Krill '18 led to a fast break dunk by Hutcherson to force an Amherst timeout as the Cardinals went ahead 43-29.
- Roughly three minutes later, Jordan Bonner '19 converted a four-point play to give Wesleyan a 49-35 lead with 11:10 remaining in regulation.
- Wesleyan went ahead by 21 points at the 3:39 mark when Jordan Sears '18 threw down a two-handed dunk, over a defender, essentially putting the game out of reach. The Cardinals would cruise to the 71-57 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Wesleyan outrebounded Amherst 46-36 and outscored the Mammoths 30-22 in the paint.
- Hutcherson led all players with 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting. He also dished out a team-high three assists and blocked a game-high two shots. He was joined in double-figures by Bonner and Bascom with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Krill led the Cardinals in rebounding with nine while Kevin O'Brien '19 added eight off the bench including nine points, two assists, one steal and one block.
- Grant Robinson led Amherst with 11 points while Josh Chery added 10 off the bench. The Mammoths' top two scorers—Johnny McCarthy and Michael Riopel—were held to just 10 points total. McCarthy scored seven with a team-high eight rebounds. Riopel and Robinson led all players with four assists each.
- Wesleyan wraps up regular season play this weekend on the road with a Friday night matchup against Colby (7 p.m.) followed by a Saturday afternoon showdown against Bowdoin (3 p.m.)