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Men's Basketball Falls to Trinity, 76-62

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

HARTFORD, Conn. – Rashid Epps '16 scored 17 points, but the Wesleyan University men's basketball team fell to Trinity College Saturday afternoon on the road, 76-62.

With the loss, the Cardinals are now 12-4 overall and 1-3 in the NESCAC. The Bantams remain perfect in league play, and are now 11-4 on the year and 3-0 in conference action.

Epps scored 17 on 6-of-9 shooting, and finished with five rebounds and two blocks. Joseph Kuo '17 joined him in double figures with 10, including nine rebounds and a perfect 6-for-6 performance from the free throw line, and Jack Mackey '16 dished out a team-high five assists. Despite the loss, Wesleyan was an impressive 21-of-24 (87.5%) from the charity stripe.

Four players scored in double figures for Trinity, who was led by Shay Ajayi's 17 points. Rick Naylor and Ed Ogundeko dropped 13 and 12, respectively, and Eric Gendron added 10. Ajayi registered a double-double as he pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds, and Ogundeko grabbed nine. 

Saturday's game was a tale of two halves. The Cardinals came out hot, and a three-pointer by Mackey at the 16:17 mark capped off 10-2 Wesleyan run to start the game. The Bantams got within three with 6:10 to play before the break, but a lay-up by Nathan Krill '18 and a free throw by Epps put Wesleyan up 23-17. Both teams went back-and-forth down the stretch before a pair of foul shots by Ajayi with six seconds before the break cut the deficit to five, as the Cardinals took a 32-27 lead into halftime.

Similar to the first half, both teams exchanged baskets early and often in the second. Knotted at 47-47 with 9:57 to play, Trinity scored four unanswered to pull ahead before Wesleyan retaliated with a 5-0 run and regained the lead, 52-51. The lead proved to be short-lived, however, as Trinity responded with another run and took a seven-point lead (59-52) with 6:17 remaining in regulation, and never looked back. 

Wesleyan returns to the court Monday, Jan. 18 and will host Little Three rival Amherst at 7 p.m. in Silloway Gymnasium.