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Nick Pelletier '08 Shines Again in NESCAC Opener But Cardinal Rally Falls Short at Conn., 71-65

After whittling a 44-27 halftime deficit down to a mere two points in the final minute of play on a basket by Nick Pelletier '08 (#11, photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com), Wesleyan came up a bit short in its comeback try as Conn. College held on for a 71-65 NESCAC-opening win Jan. 19. Pelletier finished with 16 points and 12 boards for his eighth double-double of the season. Wesleyan went a solid 6-for-12 from three-point range with two each by Eric Winters '08, Kevin Scura '09 and Wilson Griffin '08, with one of Griffin's treys coming at the 1:23 mark to cut a seven-point deficit down to four. But Conn. came up with its own big three-pointer, the 12th of the contest for the Camels, with :28 left to push the lead to five and Wesleyan missed a pair of three-point tries in the closing seconds. The Cardinals opened the home NESCAC schedule Fri., Jan. 25 vs. Colby, falling by a 77-70 count. Again the Cardinals found themselves in a big first-half hole, trailing 33-14 but came alive in the second half to decrease the margin to six at 60-54 with 7:10 to go. But an 11-4 spurt by the Mules made it a 71-58 game with four minutes left and the visitors preserved the win down the stretch. By scoring the last 10 points for Wesleyan, Scura took team scoring honors with 17 points while Stan Grayson '09 chipped in with 16. In the final game of the weekend, the Cardinals fell in another NESCAC matchup to Bowdoin, 66-46. It was a 42-39 game with 11:40 to play before the bottom dropped out and the Polar Bears ran off a 24-7 burst to the finish line. No Cardinal cracked double-digits on the afternoon as Scura again led with eight points. The team travels for its next NESCAC weekend, visiting Bates (Fri., Feb. 1) and Tufts (Sat., Feb. 2).