Off to a 3-0 start for the first time in six years, Wesleyan handed Western New England its first loss of the season in the first-ever meeting of the two teams, 61-41, Tues., Nov. 30 in the Cardinals' home opener. Wesleyan returns to action Friday, Dec. 3 in the first round of the Courtyard by Marriott tournament hosted by Wesleyan as the Cardinals take on Keystone in the opener. Bridgewater St. faces Vassar in the other first-round game.
After six lead changes in the opening 12 minutes, Wesleyan took the lead for good against WNEC, 20-19, with 8:00 remaining in the first half on a basket by McKinley Tennant '11. That ignited the first of two substantial runs by the host as Wesleyan scored 14 straight points to open up a 32-19 advantage. Kendra Harris '13 (#35, main photo) had five of the 14 points while Melanie Ferdinand '12 (#32, photo insert upper left) added four. The lead dipped to 34-24 at intermission and WNEC got as close as eight (38-30) early in the second half, but a 15-0 Cardinal run over a 10-minute span increased the gap to 53-30 and the difference stayed at 20 or above the rest of the contest. Harris again has five points to trigger the second-half flurry as she finished with a game-high 14 points. Ferdinand added 11 points while both Erin Gold '11 and Eileen Gaffney '12 chipped in with 10 for the winners.
No player for either team had more than seven rebounds. Gaffney paced the Cardinals with seven board while Ferdinand and Emily Lippe '12 each had six. Wesleyan forced 31 Golden Bear turnovers as the Cardinals amassed 16 steals, led by Gold with four. Wesleyan was guilty of 18 miscues of its own.
(Photos courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)