Wesleyan overcame an early six-point deficit to take a 26-22 halftime lead and maintained at least a three-point advantage throughout the second half en route to a 57-42 victory over visiting Hunter Sat., Dec. 11 to close out the first semester's activity. Wesleyan is now 3-0 all-time vs. Hunter and had 19 days before taking to the court again against Calvin College during the Best Western Holiday Classic at Cal Lutheran Thurs., Dec. 30.
Hunter built a 14-8 edge 11:35 into the contest before Wesleyan used a 13-6 run, capped by a Eileen Gaffney's '12 (#30, photo insert upper left) put-back at the 5:25 mark to take the lead for good, 21-20. Wesleyan netted five of the final seven points of the half for the 26-22 margin at intermission.
A pair of baskets from Kendra Harris '13 during the opening 6:35 of the second half helped the Cardinals pushed their lead to 34-25, and eventually the game’s first-double-digit lead at 39-29 with 9:53 to go. A quick 9-2 Hawk run narrowed the difference to 41-38 with 8:05 showing. But Hunter was held to four points the rest of the way with eight turnovers and 2-for-10 shooting from the field. Wesleyan added 16 points to extend the final margin to 15 points as the game’s largest lead.
With 11 players contributing to the Cardinals’ scoring, Sam LaCroce '12 (#20, main photo) had 11 points while Gaffney had nine along with a game-high 11 rebounds. LaCroce had eight caroms, joined by Emily Lippe '12 as Wesleyan enjoyed a 47-33 edge on the boards in improving its record to 5-2 this season.
In the opening game if their West Coast swing, the Cardinals had to overcome a delayed departure to California and a lack on on-site practice due to the Northeast snow storm that wreaked havoc with travel plans. Wesleyan was two days late in reaching California and it showed as Calvin raced out to a 24-5 edge 15 minutes into the game en route to a 33-11 halftime lead. The Cardinals played an even second half as the final score was 59-36. Emily Lippe '12 and Kendra Harris '13 each had nine points to pace the team while Harris also had a team-best eight caroms.
Wesleyan will face UC-Santa Cruz Fri., Dec. 31 to close out the West Coast excursion. The game will be webcast and can be viewed by clicking < here >.