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Cardinals Rally in Second Half but Come Up Short at Tufts, 75-71

Photo Courtesy of Jonas Powell '18
Photo Courtesy of Jonas Powell '18

MEDFORD, Mass. – The 25th-ranked Wesleyan University men's basketball team trailed by 20 at halftime but the Cardinals rallied in the second half and led 69-66 with 3:32 remaining. However, two clutch 3-pointers by Brennan Morris helped seal the win for Tufts University as the Jumbos held on for the victory, 75-71 on Saturday afternoon in Cousens Gym.

The loss snapped Wesleyan's seven-game win streak as it dropped to 15-5 overall and 5-2 in conference play. Morris finished with a game-high 20 points for the Jumbos as they improved to 10-10 and 5-3.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Jumbos started the game hot. About three minutes into play, they scored 11 unanswered points to take a 13-point lead with 14:56 left in the half.
  • After a couple of Wesleyan baskets, the Jumbos continued with their streak. Ahead by nine, Carson Cohen made a three, sophomore Max Oppenheim turned in a layup and then a three from Morris put the Jumbos ahead 17 with 8:45 remaining. 
  • The teams traded baskets, and ahead 14 with 2:26 left in the half, Justin Kouyoumdjian made two threes to put the Jumbos ahead 44-24 at the half. 

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Cardinals came out of the break and slowly chipped away at the Jumbos' lead.  
  • A layup from Joe DeLollo cut the lead to 16 and Jordan James' dunk brought them within 14. Antone Walker then made a 3-pointer to bring Wesleyan within 11, 47-36, about three minutes into the second half. 
  • The two teams traded threes and a layup by Gabe Ravetz brought the Cardinals within nine. Tufts answered with a three from Will Brady to go ahead 53-41, but Ravetz hit a three, Delollo added a layup, and a 3-pointer from Walker brought Wesleyan within four, 53-49, with 12:48 remaining.  
  • Both teams went back and forth the next four minutes. 
  • With the Jumbos ahead by four, Walker made a jumper that cut the lead to two, 61-59, with 8:45 left in the game. Walker then made two free throws to tie it up at 61, and roughly forty seconds later, Austin Hutcherson made a free throw that gave the Cardinals their first lead. 
  • After Rogers made a free throw to tie it at 62, the Cardinals scored six straight to take a 68-62 lead with 4:48 left on the clock. On the Jumbos next possession, Morris was fouled behind-the-arc and made all three free throws to bring the Jumbos within three. Tyler Aronson then made one of two at the charity stripe to cut the deficit to two, 68-66, with 3:50 remaining.  
  • The two teams traded free throws and the Jumbos were down by two, 69-67.  Then Morris made his first three and secured the win with the second on the Jumbos next possession as Tufts won 75-71.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Walker led the Cardinals with 18 points. DeLollo turned in 14 and eight rebounds, and Hutcherson added 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Jordan Bonner added five points and nine rebounds, and Ravetz helped with eight points.  
  • Kouyoumdjian joined Morris in double-figures with 16 points while adding four rebounds and four assists. Eric Savage finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and six assists. 

UP NEXT:

  • The Cardinals return to the court on Friday, Feb. 1 and will host in-state NESCAC rival Trinity at 7 p.m.

-- Recap courtesy of Tufts Athletic Communications --