In a game originally slated for Wed., Feb. 2 but postponed a day due to weather, Emmanuel hit a basket with :46.6 remaining to break a 68-68 tie and added a pair of critical free throws with :04.9 to go to help the visiting Saints defeat Wesleyan Thurs., Feb. 3, 72-69. Wesleyan, which led 39-34 at halftime, trailed only briefly in the second period, recovering from a 52-48 deficit to secure the game’s largest advantage at 63-54 behind a 15-2 run with 8:56 to play. Six players scored for the Cardinals during the run with Kendra Harris '13 getting four of her 13 points at that time.
But the Saints patiently whittled the lead down over the next seven minutes, eventually tying the score for the 13th time in the contest, 68-68, with 1:51 to go. Wesleyan had two possessions, turning the ball over once and missing a three-pointer, sandwiching a Saint missed field goal, the Saints went ahead for good. Amber Wessells '14 hit one of two free throws for the Cardinals with :42.3 left to make it 70-69. While the Saints turned the ball over on their next two possessions, the Cardinals failed to convert on a pair of shots during one possession and then committed a costly turnover with :05 to go, leading to the last two Emmanual free throws. Wesleyan managed just a desperate 35-foot try at the end but the toss was swatted aside by the Emmanuel defense.
For Wesleyan, Sam LaCroce ' 12 (#20, photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) posted a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Erin Gold '11 added 11 for the home squad.
The first half featured a tight opening five minutes before a 7-0 Wesleyan run spotted the host a 20-13 edge. Emmanual came right back to tie the game at 24-24 with an 11-4 burst and held a 29-26 lead before the Cardinals ended the half on a 13-5 run for a five-point halftime lead. Emmanuel now leads the overall series vs. Wesleyan, 6-3.
Wesleyan was looking for its first conference win and a chance to break a 10-game losing streak when it traveled to NESCAC rival Conn. College Sat., Feb. 5 for its next start. The Camels broke a 13-game losing skid vs. Wesleyan, dating back to 1997, with a 49-42 victory. The loss eliminated the Cardinals from NESCAC tournament contention, the first time since 2001 that Wesleyan will be sitting out the post-season.
At Conn, Wesleyan led much of the first half but trailed, 25-24, at intermission. The Camels never relinquished the lead in the second half, pulling ahead by as many as 11 (41-30) with 5:08 to go. The Cardinals got no closer than seven the rest of the way, hurt by their collective 26.7 shooting percentage and 4-for-24 effort from three-point range. Wesleyan did force 20 Camel turnovers while making just 11 of its own and limited the host to 28.9 percent shooting, but Conn had a 48-36 edge on the boards and outscored its visitor by 13 at the free-throw line.
Wesleyan moves out-of-conference for its next outing, hosting Suffolk Tues., Feb. 8.