Women’s Basketball Rallies Late but Comes up Short Against Little Three Rival Williams in NESCAC Thriller, 65-60

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

THE BASICS:

Score: Williams 65, Wesleyan 60
Records:
Wesleyan (7-13, 1-7 NESCAC); Williams (14-7, 3-4 NESCAC)
Location: Middletown, Conn.
Date: Friday, February 3
Time: 7 p.m.
The Lead: Trailing by 13 with 7:57 to play in regulation, the Wesleyan University women's basketball team rallied and took a 59-58 lead with less than a minute to play following a three-point play from Kadijah Mathews '18, however, Williams College held on for the 65-60 win in Friday night's NESCAC thriller.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The first 10 minutes of play featured three ties and three lead changes.
  • A three-pointer from Olivia Gorman '19 at the 4:34 mark put Wesleyan ahead by five, 10-5. It proved to be the biggest margin of the quarter as Williams closed out the first with a 6-0 run.
  • The home team rallied in the second quarter and went on a 17-6 run capped off by a lay-up from Gorman with :56 remaining in the half. The sophomore scored seven points during the stretch.
  • Amanni Fernandez hit a lay-up seconds later to cut the deficit to eight entering the break, 31-23.
  • Tara Berger'19 dominated the glass in the first half and finished with 12 boards in 19 minutes of action.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The third quarter was a different story as Williams applied heavy pressure defensively and started to pull away.
  • The Ephs, led by Fernandez's 11 points, outscored the Cardinals 23-4 in the third to take a 46-35 lead.
  • However, Wesleyan wouldn't back down easily.
  • Trailing by 13 with less than eight minutes to play, Maeve Vitale '18 jumpstarted a Cardinal run with a three-pointer at the 6:00 minute mark.
  • On Wesleyan's following possession, Mathews found the junior for another three, and just 38 seconds later dished one off to Gorman as she hit one from behind-the-arc to cut the deficit to four with 4:32 remaining.
  • Vitale wasn't done yet as she connected from deep once again, off another assist from Mathews, at the 2:16 mark to even the score at 56-56.
  • With just under a minute to play, Mathews put Wesleyan back on top as she completed a three-point play to make it 60-59.
  • However, Williams responded with a three-point play of its own seconds later and held on to defeat the Cardinals down the stretch.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Vitale finished with a team-high 17 points, five rebounds and four steals. Gorman added 14 points, and Berger fell one shy of a double-double with nine points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Chynna Bailey '19 finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting and dished out a game-high four assists.
  • Devon Caveney led all players with 20 points as she finished 10-of-11 from the free throw line. She also pulled in seven rebounds, while Fernandez scored 15 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe, including a game-high five steals, and Kristin Fechtelkotter scored 11.
  • Friday's Little Three rivalry game featured seven ties and 11 lead changes. The stats were almost identical, but the Ephs capitalized on Wesleyan's mistakes by scoring 22 points off turnovers compared to six points from the Cardinals.

UP NEXT:

  • Wesleyan has a week off before returning to action Friday, Feb. 10 for a NESCAC road game against Bowdoin. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
  • Williams remains on the road and will play Connecticut College Sunday, Feb. 5 at 2 p.m.

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