FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Austin Hutcherson and Anton Walker scored 25 and 24 points, respectively, and Jordan Bonner dropped a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds as the Wesleyan University men's basketball team held off a late scare to defeat Farmingdale State on the road Wednesday night, 85-71.
Wesleyan controlled the first half and led by as much as 19 early in the second. The Rams slowly cut into the deficit in the final 14 minutes of action but the Cardinals pulled away down the stretch. Both teams are now 3-2 on the year.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Wesleyan came out hot. After back-to-back 3-pointers by Hutcherson and Walker, Bonner grabbed a defensive rebound and drove the length of the court for a layup to give the Cardinals an 8-0 lead in just over a minute of action.
- Shortly after, a bucket by Hutcherson gave the visitors a double-digit lead as they went up 14-4 at the 15:51 mark.
- However, the Rams responded with an 8-0 run capped off by a jumper from George Riefenstahl to cut the deficit to two.
- It would be the closest the Rams would get the rest of the game as Wesleyan rallied with a 14-2 run.
- Farmingdale State got within six at the 4:58 mark but three consecutive 3-pointers by the Cardinals increased the lead to 15 with 3:43 left in the half.
- Hutcherson hit a jumper with 33 seconds remaining to give Wesleyan a 44-32 advantage at the break. The sophomore guard led all players with 16 points in the first half.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Cardinals continued to increase their lead early in the second. With 14:30 on the clock, Walker hit one from behind-the-arc to put them up by 19.
- The Rams countered, however, and scored nine unanswered as Joseph Santoro cut the deficit to 10 with 11:25 remaining in regulation.
- The game went back-and-forth over the next several minutes until a layup by Ryan Kennedy got Farmingdale State within single digits. Seconds later, a layup by Matthew Graham capped a 6-0 run as the home team trailed 69-63 with 6:53 to go.
- Over two minutes later, Hutcherson hit a jumper from the top of the key to increase Wesleyan's lead to eight, but Kennedy hit a 3-pointer on the other end and shortly after went 1-of-2 from the foul line got cut the deficit to four, 73-69, with 3:36 left to play.
- Wesleyan responded nicely and a dish by Walker led to a Jordan James dunk to increase the Cardinals' lead to seven with 2:18 remaining.
- After Farmingdale State got within four at the 3:36 mark, Wesleyan outscored the Rams 12-2 down the stretch en route to the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Hutcherson was 5-of-9 from downtown and Walker finished 5-of-8 from deep. In addition to his game-high 14 rebounds, Bonner also led all players with five assists.
- Wesleyan shot 42.9% (15-35) from 3-point range and held a 52-41 advantage in rebounds.
- Farmingdale State was led by Kennedy and Ali Mableton with 15 points each, while Chaz Platt added 10 points off the bench. Riefenstahl led the team with seven rebounds and Kennedy dished out a team-high four assists.
- Wesleyan is back in action on Saturday, Dec. 1 and will host Little Three rival and No. 2 Williams at 7 p.m. Saturday's game will not count towards the NESCAC standings.