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Ryan Records Double-Double as Cardinals Defeat New Jersey City in Home-Opener, 68-54

Photo Courtesy of Jonas Powell '18
Photo Courtesy of Jonas Powell '18

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Marina Petruzzi scored a game-high 22 points and Caleigh Ryan recorded a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds as the Wesleyan women's basketball team won its 2019-20 home-opener on Tuesday night against New Jersey City, 68-54.

Petruzzi and Ryan were joined in double-figures by Katy O'Connor who dropped 12 points as the Cardinals improved to 3-0 on the season. The Gothic Knights were led by Hannah Johnson's 17 points as they fell to 1-2 overall.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Both teams came out hot to start the game, each going 4 of 5 from the field within the first four minutes of action.
  • Trailing 6-4, Wesleyan went on an 8-2 run behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Ava Tompkins and Petruzzi, respectively.
  • The Cardinals continued to extend the lead and closed out the first quarter on a 9-0 run to lead 21-11 after 10 minutes of action.
  • Both teams struggled offensively in the opening minutes of the second quarter. 
  • With 5:40 on the clock, Zyearah Taylor-Gaston hit one from behind-the-arc to cut the deficit to eight but Wesleyan responded on the other end as O'Connor converted a 3-point play.
  • The Cardinals led by double-digits most of the quarter but the Gothic Knights went on a 5-0 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Johnson with just four seconds remaining to get within seven at the half, 33-26.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The third quarter went back-and-forth often with neither team able to pull away.
  • With just over four minutes remaining, Maddie Clark stole the ball, drove the length of the court and dished it off to Tompkins for an excellent drive and dish to go up 45-32.
  • However, the Gothic Knights responded with a lay-up from Alexandria Sam just seconds later.
  • Wesleyan outscored New Jersey City 18-14 in the third to lead 51-40 entering the fourth quarter.
  • With just over four minutes to play, right after the Gothic Knights cut the deficit to eight, Ryan drove to the basket and made an excellent dish to Petruzzi who finished with a lay-up to regain a double-digit lead.
  • Shortly after, Wesleyan went on an 8-2 run with 3-pointers from Maddie Clark and Petruzzi to lead 67-52 with 1:37 remaining, essentially putting the game out of reach. 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Ryan was three assists shy of a triple-double as she led all players with seven. Tompkins added 10 rebounds, five assists, five points, and a game-high two blocks, while Clark scored six points with six assists and two steals.
  • Johnson was the only player in double-digits for New Jersey City while Sams added nine points off the bench. Ayanna Lewis led the team with eight rebounds and Jasmine Reese added seven. Aaliyah McCrae and Sams led the team with two assists each.
  • Tuesday's game featured three lead changes, all in the first quarter. Wesleyan held a 23 to 7 edge in assists but New Jersey City had a 46 to 44 advantage in rebounding. Both teams scored 26 points in the paint.

UP NEXT:

  • Wesleyan is back in action this weekend as it will host the Courtyard Tournament on Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23. The Cardinals will face Mitchell on Friday at 6 p.m. with the winner advancing to the Championship Game on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Consolation Game is set for 1 p.m.