WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Trailing by 14 at the half, the Wesleyan University women's basketball team rallied in the final 20 minutes of action but Little Three rival Williams College eventually prevailed in Friday night's NESCAC opener, 69-64. The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for the Cardinals as they drop to 8-3 on the year and 0-1 in league play. The Ephs, who avenge their Dec. 9 overtime loss against Wesleyan, improve to 9-4 and 1-0 in the NESCAC.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Cardinals with Olivia Gorman '19 leading the way as she dropped a game-high 20 points. Maddie Bledsoe '18 recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Lauren Vostal and Amanni Fernandez each scored 15 to lead Williams while Vostal added a team-high 10 boards for the double-double.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Ephs came out hot and jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Wesleyan responded with an 8-2 run of its own to cut the deficit to two (10-8) but Williams scored the final five points of the first quarter to claim a seven-point lead after one.
- With 8:36 to play in the half, a pair of free throws from Kristin Fechtelkotter gave the home team its first double-digit lead of the game up 19-8.
- Williams would eventually take a 39-25 lead into the break.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- It was all Wesleyan in the third quarter. A 10-0 run capped off by a lay-up from Maeve Vitale '18 cut the deficit to six, 41-35, with 7:26 remaining.
- The Cardinals went on another incredible stretch with a 16-2 run as a pair of free throws by Bledsoe put the visitors on top 51-46 with 1:54 to play in the third. Wesleyan eventually took a 51-50 lead into the fourth after an impressive third quarter in which it outscored Williams 26-11.
- The final 10 minutes of action went back-and-forth often.
- The Cardinals got within two (66-64) with :28 on the clock, but couldn't hit a jumper down the stretch as Fernandez went 3-of-4 from the charity stripe in the closing seconds to claim the 69-64 win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Gorman and Bledsoe were joined in double-figures by Tara Berger '18 and Vitale with 15 and 10, respectively. Berger added seven rebounds and five blocks as well, while Vitale recorded four steals.
- Fechtelkotter finished with 13 points, eight boards, and four steals, and Fernandez dished out a game-high five assists. Emily Chang scored nine points off the bench.
- Williams led by as much as 19 points in the second quarter.
- Wesleyan remains on the road and will play Middlebury tomorrow, Jan. 6 at 3 p.m.