Nick Pelletier '08 Enjoys Finest Day of Career While Scoring 1000th Point in 80-78 Win at Tufts
It might be difficult to think of more things Nick Pelletier '08 (#11, photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) might have been able to do during the Cardinals' exciting come-from-behind 80-78 NESCAC win at Tufts Sat., Feb. 2. In posting his ninth double-double of the season and 16th of his career, Pelletier netted a career-high 27 points while making 10-of-15 field goals, both of his three-point tries including the game-winner to break a 76-76 tie with 1:11 to play, and five of seven free throws to go with his game-high 12 rebounds. His layup midway through the second half left Wesleyan trailing just 69-66 after being down as many as 12 in the first half. It also put Pelletier over the 1000-point plateau for his career, becoming the 17th male player at Wesleyan to accomplish the feat. The last was Keala Mills during the 2003-04 season. The game came down to the wire as it was a one-possession game throughout the final 10 minutes. But Pelletier, who played all 40 minutes, snapped a 76-76 tie with his bomb from the right corner. After a pair of Tufts FTs cut it to 79-78, a Wesleyan turnover with :23 left gave Tufts a chance to win. The shot was missed and Jon Sargent '09 grabbed the rebound. He was fouled with :02.3 to go, making the second of his two free throws. That allowed Tufts to call timeout and set up an inbounds play. The Jumbos got the ball into the paint at Wesleyan's end and took a short jumper but the ball hit off the rim on the right side and stayed out, preventing overtime. It was the initial NESCAC victory of the year for the squad and snapped a six-game losing skid. The team made it two straight Mon., Feb. 4 with a 69-60 non-conference win over Salve Regina. Pelletier picked up his 10th double-double with 21 points, shooting 6-for-9 from the field and 8-for-10 at the line, while collaring 13 boards. Stan Grayson '09 joined him with 16 points and 11 rebounds as Wesleyan dominated the boards with a 59-31 edge. Still it was just a 53-50 lead with 4:45 to go before Pelletier hit his only three-pointer of the game and put home a pair of free throws to make it 58-50 with three minutes left. Mike Raymond '08 helped get it done in the final 30 seconds by making five of six free throws, pushing a five-point lead to the final margin. Wesleyan got back to NESCAC play for the weekend, hosting Trinity Fri, Feb. 8 and Amherst Sat., Feb. 9. Against Trinity, the Cardinals hung with the Bantams, trailing just 42-38 early in the second half. But the well ran dry for the Cards as Trinity finished on a 28-11 run for a 70-49 victory. Pelletier had 12 points and a team-leading six rebounds. Grayson had 13 points as Wesleyan's top scorer vs. the Bants. Facing top-ranked and defending national champ Amherst, Wesleyan carved a 12-point Lord Jeff lead down to a single point with seven minutes to go, but Amherst flexed its muscle and moved back up by double-digits with 2:40 to go en route to a 78-67 win. Pelletier again was a shining light with 20 points and nine rebounds, top on the team. Kevin Scura '09 came off the bench to chip in with 15. The regular season closes on the road for the squad with a visit to Middlebury Fri., Feb. 15 and to Williams Sat., Feb. 16.