Wesleyan ventured to Middlebury Fri., Jan. 21 to inaugurate road NESCAC play this season. After a nip-and-tuck first half that featured numerous lead changes and no more than a four-point advantage by either team, Middlebury took the lead for good with 14:29 remaining in the contest, 38-35, and pulled ahead by as many as 14 points down the stretch (58-44, 7:08 left) en route to a 70-58 win.
Kendra Harris '13 (#35, photo) netted a career-best 18 points, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and 6-for-8 at the line, making her the game's top scorer. Also in double-digits for Wesleyan with 11 points was Erin Gold '11 while Eileen Gaffney '12 chipped in with 10 points and a team-best six rebounds. Harris made her presence felt in just 21 minutes of action off the bench.
Middlebury's dominance on the boards (41-29) and more consistent shooting (47.3% vs. 41.7% for Wesleyan) made the difference in the outcome.
Wesleyan had its work cut out for it Sat., Jan. 22 when the Cardinals completed their NESCAC weekend by closing out Little Three play this season at Williams. Williams, at 16-1, is ranked eighth nationally and handed Wesleyan a 70-36 loss in Middletown earlier this year.
Three strong first-half burst by the Ephs put the rematch in the homestander's back pocket by halftime with a 52-22 lead. Williams scored the first 11 points of the game, added a 12-2 run during a 3:30 span between the 8:00 and 5:30 mark of the half, then tacked on a 13-2 run over the final five minutes for the 30-point differential.
The second-half lead varied between 30 and 41 points before settling in for the 34-point final margin, 82-48. Sam LaCroce '12 paced the Cardinals in scoring and rebounding with nine points and five caroms. Harris added seven points and three boards.
Wesleyan was looking to snap its seven-game skid when the team played at Bates Fri., Jan. 28. With a 28-27 lead at halftime, it looked like a possibility but a 13-2 run to inaugurate the second period by the host put Bates ahead, 40-30, and Wesleyan got no closer than eight the rest of the way as the Bobcats pulled away for a 69-49 win. Gaffney paced the squad with 16 points and nine rebounds while Harris added 12 points and four boards. The 20-point margin came from Bates' 5-for-15 shooting from three-point range and 14-for-18 accuracy at the line, compared to the Cardinals' 1-for-13 effort from behind the arc and 6-for-12 performance at the line.
Up next, the squad concludes its NESCAC weekend at Tufts Sat., Jan. 29. The game will feature both a webcast and livestats. To access the transmissions, click < here >.