Tourney MVP & NESCAC POW Nick Pelletier '08 Paces Cards to Title at UNE-Mike Raymond '08 All-Tourney
In a game characterized by its 12 ties, the last coming with three minutes to play, the championship contest of the Jim Beaudry Classic hosted by the U. of New England Sat., Jan 5 went Wesleyan's way, 69-61, as tournament MVP Nick Pelletier '08 (#11, main photo courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) posted his second double-double of the Classic. Pelletier, who was named NESCAC Player of the Week, had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the title game and finished the Classic with 32 points and 24 boards. He put home two buckets in the paint, both off assists by Eric Winters '08, to spot Wesleyan a 63-58 lead with 1:02 remaining. A minute earlier, a layup by Stan Grayson '09 (20 points) gave Wesleyan a 59-57 lead with 2:24 left. That basket triggered a 12-4 Wesleyan run to the final buzzer. Mike Raymond '08 (#5, photo insert lower right by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) went 4-for-4 at the line in the final :30 while Winters also added two FTs. Raymond, who gave 62 minutes off the bench during the tournament at guard and was 8-for-8 at the line, was an all-tournament selection. The Cardinals had their four-game win streak snapped by Amherst Tues., Jan. 8, as the defending national champions, currently ranked fifth in Division III, picked up an 85-63 victory at home. Pelletier had another strong game with team-high figures of 16 points and eight rebounds. The Cardinals cut a 13-point deficit to six (40-34) at halftime, but a 17-4 spurt by the Lord Jeffs to open the second half put the game away. After a weekend off, the squad headed to the Merchant Marine Academy Tues., Jan. 15, and dropped a tough 66-57 decision. The game was nip-and-tuck through 30 minutes of play but a 10-0 run by the host gave USMMA a 47-38 lead with 8:50 to go and Wesleyan got no closer than eight down the stretch. It was the first meeting between the team in 20 years. Jeremy Kaminer '10 led the team with 14 points. NESCAC play starts on Sat., Jan. 19 when the Cardinals visit the Camel of Conn. College.