MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – With a double-digit advantage for most of the game, the Wesleyan University women's basketball team saw its lead slip away as Bates College got within eight early in the fourth quarter. However, the Cardinals outscored the Bobcats 21-4 in the final 8:32 en route to a 67-42 win on Friday night in Silloway Gymnasium. Tara Berger and Caleigh Ryan each recorded a double-double for the home team.
Ryan, who was held scoreless in the first half, helped lead the Wesleyan run as she dropped 18 in the final 20 minutes of play. With the win, the Cardinals improved to 11-7 overall and 3-3 in the NESCAC. Melanie Binkhorst scored a team-high 11 points for Bates as the Bobcats fell to 8-9 and 1-5.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Cardinals' stifling defense held Bates to 15 points in the first half.
- The teams exchanged points early on and were tied at 7-7 for roughly four minutes until a layup by Chynna Bailey followed by a 3-pointer from Marina Petruzzi in the final 57 seconds gave the home squad a 12-7 lead after one.
- Wesleyan opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run as a jumper by Gorman at the 6:02 mark put the Cardinals on top, 19-7.
- Seconds later, with 5:47 on the clock, Julia Middlebrook made a basket to snap Bates' 11-minute scoreless streak.
- Wesleyan responded, however, and a 3-point play by Tara Berger shortly after gave the Cardinals a 25-9 advantage with 4:07 to play in the half.
- After a big second quarter, Wesleyan entered the break ahead 30-15.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- It was a different story in the third quarter with both teams exchanging runs.
- After a free throw by Meghan Graff capped off an 8-2 run, Bates trailed 35-24 with 7:01 on the clock. However, Wesleyan responded with a 7-0 run of its own to go ahead by 18.
- The Cardinals were held scoreless for the final 3:19 of the third as Bates scored six unanswered to trail 42-30 entering the fourth.
- The Bobcats continued to cut into the lead and a 3-point play by Binkhorst at the 8:32 mark capped off a 14-4 run as they trailed by eight with 8:32 remaining.
- Wesleyan remained composed, however, and three consecutive 3-pointers by the Cardinals (two from Ryan and one from Olivia Gorman) helped put the game away.
- Ryan was terrific in the fourth as she scored 10 points in nine minutes on 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-2 from deep.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Cardinals dominated the glass and held a 64-36 advantage in rebounds, while outscoring the Bobcats in second chance points, 17-4.
- Four players scored in double-figures for Wesleyan. Ryan scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds (nine offensive), recorded three steals, and totaled a block and an assist. Berger scored 10 points and pulled in a game-high 14 boards. Additionally, Olivia Gorman scored 18 points and Petruzzi finished with 10. Ava Tompkins led all players with four assists.
- Binkhorst led the team in points (11), rebounds (9), steals (6), and tied for the team-high in assists (2). Taylor McVeigh added eight boards, while Graff and Mia Roy each scored eight points.