NEW LONDON, Conn. – Leading by 18 at the break, the Wesleyan University men's basketball team fought off a late scare by Connecticut College as the Cardinals claimed their fifth-straight win on Saturday afternoon on the road, 78-70.
Jordan Bonner led the way for Wesleyan as he recorded a double-double with game-highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds, while JR Bascom tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. With the win, the Cardinals are now 13-4 overall and 4-1 in the NESCAC. Dan Draffan and David Labossiere dropped 22 and 20 points, respectively, but the Camels dropped to 6-11 and 0-5.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Wesleyan scored the first five points of the game but Connecticut College answered with a 5-0 run to even the score. However, Antone Walker hit a 3-pointer shortly after and the Cardinals never looked back.
- At the 11:34 mark, a layup by Austin Hutcherson extended the visitors lead to eight, 21-13.
- The Camels responded and just over two minutes later, Patrick Lazor hit one from downtown to bring Connecticut College within three, 23-20.
- It was the closest the home team would get the rest of the half as back-to-back 3-pointers from Hutcherson and Bonner put Wesleyan back on top by nine.
- Following a dunk by Draffan to end the run, the Cardinals hit two more 3-pointers, this time from Walker and Kevin McDonald as the lead increased to 13.
- Shackylle Dezonie would then hit a buzzer-beater to give Wesleyan a 47-29 halftime advantage.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- It was a different story in the second half as the Camels scored the first 12 points to get within six at the 15:32 mark.
- Wesleyan would regain a double-digit lead shortly after, and the two teams would then exchange baskets for several minutes.
- Connecticut College slowly cut into the deficit down the stretch and with 1:12 to play in regulation, a jumper by Phil Leotsakos got the home team within six, 71-65.
- After a jumper by Bonner, Draffan hit one from deep as the Camels trailed 73-68 with :42 on the clock.
- The Cardinals sealed the win at the line, however, going 5-of-6 in the final 37 seconds en route to the eight-point victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Bonner went 8-of-12 from the floor and 3-of-6 from 3-point range, while Bascom finished 5-of-6 and 2-of-2 from the line. Bonner also dished out three assists, recorded two blocks, and registered one steal. Walker added 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from behind-the-arc and Hutcherson finished with 11. Joe DeLollo led the team with five assists while also grabbing eight rebounds.
- Joining Draffan and Labossiere in double-figures was Leotsakos with 16 on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting from the floor. The trio accounted for 58 of the team's 70 points. Draffan also led the team in rebounding with seven, and Jack Zimmerman dished out a game-high six assists.
- Both teams shot well from deep as the Cardinals hit 12-of-29 (41.4%) and the Camels went 6-of-14 (42.9%). Wesleyan held a slight edge in rebounding, 40-36.
- The Cardinals are back in action on Monday, Jan. 21 and will host Purchase State in a non-conference game. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.