Bledsoe Has Career Day to Help Lead Wesleyan Past Westfield State, 88-76

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

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Maddie Bledsoe '18 recorded a double-double with career-highs of 18 points and 21 rebounds to help lead the Wesleyan University women's basketball team to an 88-76 win over Westfield State Saturday afternoon to claim the Courtyard by Marriott Tournament title. Bledsoe was named the Tournament MVP as the Cardinals improved to 5-1 overall. The Owls drop to 5-2 following the loss.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Wesleyan jumped out to a 5-0 lead following a three-pointer from Maeve Vitale '18, but Westfield State responded with a 7-0 run to claim the lead.
  • The first quarter went back-and-forth often with the visitors claiming a 20-17 lead after the first 10 minutes of action.
  • After a lay-up from Chynna Bailey '19, a three-point play by Olivia Gorman '19 put the Cardinals back on top, 22-20 with 9:00 on the clock.
  • Wesleyan held a lead the rest of the quarter and went on a 10-0 run capped off by a three from Emma Roush '21 with 1:22 on the clock as the home team held a 41-30 lead.
  • The Owls responded with back-to-back lay-ups and a three-pointer from Taina Slaughter cut the deficit to four at the break, 41-37.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The third quarter featured some more back-and-forth action. With 4:00 remaining, Vitale hit one from downtown to put the Cardinals back on top by double-digits, 59-47.
  • Wesleyan used a 13-4 run in five minutes to claim a decisive 16-point lead but a three-pointer by Rebecca Sapouckey as time ran out cut the deficit to 13 entering the fourth.
  • The Owls wouldn't back down as they got within single digits with 4:45 to play (73-64) following a lay-up by Keri Paton.
  • The closest they would get the rest of the way was seven points before Ava Tompkins '20 hit one from behind-the-arc with 2:32 on the clock to increase the lead back to 10 points, 80-70.
  • Wesleyan would make its free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Four players scored in double-figures for Wesleyan. Joining Bledsoe was Tara Berger '19 with season-highs of 17 points and 14 rebounds en route to All-Tournament Team honors while Vitale finished with 13 and Gorman dropped 12.
  • The Cardinals shot 38.7% (29-75) from the floor and 23.1% (6-26) from downtown while holding a decisive 72-40 edge in rebounding. Westfield State shot 31.4% (27-86) and 23.3% (7-30) from behind-the-arc.
  • Slaughter led the Owls with 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting. She was joined in double-figures by Melissa Gray and Kierra McCarthy with 12 each while Lucy Barrett finished with 11.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM:

  • Rhylee Wright, Maine-Presque Isle
  • Jhanel Brown, Valley Forge
  • Lucy Barrett, Westfield State
  • Kierra McCarthy, Westfield State
  • Tara Berger, Wesleyan
  • Maddie Bledsoe, Wesleyan – Tournament MVP

UP NEXT:

  • Wesleyan will play Manhattanville Wednesday, Dec. 6 in Silloway Gymnasium. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.