MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan University women's basketball team fell short of knocking off the two-time defending national champions and fourth-ranked Amherst College on Monday night as the Cardinals lost, 67-57 in a non-conference tilt.
Wesleyan held a 31-30 halftime lead but the Mammoths' strong shooting from 3-point range (13-31) helped seal the victory down the stretch. With the loss, the Cardinals dropped to 10-7 overall while Amherst improved to 15-1.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Wesleyan played excellent in the first quarter.
- After an opening basket by the visitors, a layup by Chynna Bailey shortly after evened the score, and a 3-pointer by the senior minutes later bookended a 12-0 Cardinal run.
- Wesleyan held Amherst to two points for the first 6:38, but a 3-pointer by Hannah Fox before the time expired capped off six unanswered points as the Mammoths trailed 12-9 after one.
- The visitors got hot from behind-the-arc in the second quarter as they opened with back-to-back 3-pointers to cap off a 13-0 run as they led 15-12 at the 8:36 mark.
- The Cardinals regained the lead shortly after following a 3-point play by Katy O'Connor, but Amherst responded with another trey to go up 18-16.
- The visitors would lead by as much as eight, but Wesleyan slowly cut into the deficit and a 3-pointer by Marina Petruzzi followed by an excellent dish on a fast break from Ava Tompkins to Caleigh Ryan led to a buzzer-beater layup as the Cardinals took a 31-30 lead into the break.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Wesleyan came out strong in the second half as Tara Berger led an 8-2 run, scoring six points of her own, to extend the lead to seven at the 7:51 mark.
- Amherst regained a lead minutes later after a free throw by Courtney Resch tied it at 43-43, and a 3-pointer by Cam Hendricks less than a minute later put them back on top.
- With five seconds remaining in the third quarter, Meghan Sullivan hit one from deep to give the visitors a 50-45 lead entering the fourth.
- At the 6:19 mark, a jumper by Hendricks extended the Amherst lead to 10.
- The closest Wesleyan would get the rest of the way was seven points as the Mammoths held on for the victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Monday night's game featured four ties and six lead changes. The rebounding battle was fairly even with Amherst holding a slight 36-35 edge, but the Cardinals outscored the Mammoths down-low, 30-12.
- Petruzzi led Wesleyan with a team-high 11 points off the bench, while Bailey dropped nine with team-highs of five assists and three steals. Caleigh Ryan, who earned NESCAC Player of the Week honors earlier in the day, scored seven points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
- Four players scored in double-figures for the Mammoths, with Fox leading the way. She recorded a double-double with game-highs of 18 points and 11 rebounds, while also recording three steals. Madeline Eck finished with 17 points, Courtney Resch dropped 13, and Hendricks scored 10. Maeve McNamara led all players with six assists.
- Wesleyan returns to NESCAC action on Friday, Jan. 25 and will host Bates at 7 p.m.