MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Senior guard Maeve Vitale's hot hand late in the second half helped propel the Wesleyan University women's basketball team to a 59-50 win over in-state NESCAC rival Trinity College Friday night in Silloway Gymnasium.
Vitale finished with a game-high 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from downtown as the Cardinals improved to 15-6 overall and 4-4 in conference play. Peace Kabari added 17 points as well but the Bantams dropped to 13-8 on the year and 1-6 in NESCAC action.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The first quarter went back-and-forth often and featured four lead changes.
- Tied at 8-8, Olivia Gorman '19 hit one from downtown to put the home team ahead.
- Maddie Bledsoe '19 scored with just five-tenths of a second left to give the Cardinals a 15-12 lead after one.
- With 5:24 remaining in the second, a jumper by Emily Peters evened the score at 20-20. However, Ava Tompkins '20 found classmate Heidi Scarth for a layup over a minute later to give the Cardinals a lead once again.
- Wesleyan outscored the Bantams 10-2 down the stretch and a layup by Bledsoe with :53 remaining gave the home team a 30-22 halftime lead.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- It was all Trinity in the third quarter as the Cardinals struggled offensively.
- The Bantams opened the second half with a 10-0 run capped off by a basket from Kabari at the 7:24 mark to claim a 32-30 lead.
- Both teams exchanged baskets the rest of the quarter and with only eight seconds on the clock, Erin Cunningham hit a three-pointer to even the game at 39-39 entering the fourth.
- Early in the quarter, Bledsoe drove to the basket and was fouled while hitting her layup. She was unable to convert the three-point play but Vitale grabbed the rebound and hit one from behind-the-arc just seconds later to put Wesleyan ahead by five (44-39).
- Trinity got within one with 5:49 to play but Vitale came up big with another trey at the 4:57 mark to increase the lead to four.
- Ahead 51-46 with 1:33 to play, Vitale hit her third three-pointer of the quarter to give Wesleyan an eight-point lead, essentially putting the game out of reach as Trinity scored just four points the rest of the way.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Vitale was 3-for-3 from behind-the-arc in the fourth quarter, each three pivotal to the Cardinals' win. She also totaled six rebounds. Gorman joined her in double-figures with 13 points while Bledsoe, the league's leading rebounder, continues to dominate the glass as she finished with a game-high 10 boards including eight points. Tara Berger '19 was a force down low as well as she finished with five blocks, and Heidi Scarth '21 dropped seven points and grabbed eight boards off the bench.
- Kabari also led the Bantams in rebounding (9) and steals (3), while Courtney Erickson dropped 13 points and pulled in six boards.
- Wesleyan held a 47-36 edge in rebounding and outscored the Bantams 28-18 in the paint. Friday's game featured eight ties and 10 lead changes.
- The Cardinals have a week off before returning to Silloway Gym on Friday, Feb. 9. They will host Colby at 7 p.m.