Shasha Brown '13 (#11, shooting free throw) scored 20 points, 18 during the second half, to become the fastest player in Wesleyan men's basketball history to reach 1,000 career points as Wesleyan overcame a 10-point deficit in each period to defeat Framingham St., 88-76, Tues., Nov. 29. Brown hit this free throw with 1:23 to go for his 1,000th point. He went on to average 23.3 PPG during a 3-0 week along with 6.7 assists per game and was honored as NESCAC Player of the Week for the second time this season.
With Brown netting just two points in the first half, Framingham built a 24-14 edge with 10:53 to go in the period. But Wesleyan countered with 11 consecutive points with Jason Mendell '12 (#34 in photo) connecting on a pair of three-pointers, to take a 25-24 lead with 8:00 left. The Rams scored the final four points of the period for a 41-37 edge at intermission.
When Framingham scored the opening six points of the second half, the Rams assumed a 10-point lead once again, 47-37, just two minutes into the frame. Again, the Cardinals countered, this time with 10 in a row to knot the count at 47-47 at the 16:00 mark. Neither team led by more than three points over the next 11 minutes. Wesleyan took the lead for good on a basket by Brown with 5:32 left, 69-68. The fifth three-pointer of the game by Mendell (in six tries) advanced the margin to 72-68 with 4:55 to go, then the largest lead of the game for the Cardinals. Mendell finished as the game's high scorer with 22 points. A basket by Mike Callaghan '13 and a three-pointer by Brown allowed Wesleyan to move ahead, 77-69, with 3:00 remaining. The Rams got no closer than seven down the stretch as Wesleyan went 9-for-10 at the free-throw line in the final two minutes with Brown going 5-for-6 and Derick Beresford '13 a perfect 4-for-4.
Brown finished the game with 1,002 career points as the 18th male player in Wesleyan history to reach the coveted plateau. Prior to Brown, Kanem Johnson '04 had been the fastest Cardinal to surpass 1,000 career points, doing so in his 66th game. Johnson is the all-time Wesleyan scoring leader with 1,692 points. Brown has played 54 games and also is just the fourth Wesleyan male to reach 1,000 points as a junior.
Glen Thomas '14 had a double-double for Wesleyan with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Beresford also hit double-digit scoring with 12 points for the Cardinals.
Wesleyan was on the road Thurs., Dec. 1 for its next game at Emmanuel College. There, Brown scored a season-high 28 points, including the Cardinals' final six points in breaking a 61-61 tie with 1:05 remaining. He converted a three-point play to put Wesleyan ahead for good, 64-61, added another free throw with :23 to go, and finished off the day's scoring with a pair at the line with just :01.1 to go. Wesleyan improved to 5-1 on the year, the team's best start in 10 years as the 2001-02 squad also opened the year at 5-1.
Also aiding the Cardinal cause at Emmanuel was Mendell with 10 points while Callaghan had nine points and 10 rebounds. He also knocked a Emmanuel pass loose in the final 10 seconds with Wesleyan up, 65-63, allowing Brown to recover the ball before he headed back to the line for the clinching free throws. Thomas had a game-high 11 rebounds.
On Sat., Dec. 3, the Cardinals ventured to CCNY and returned with a 72-50 triumph. Brown again led the way with 22 points, followed by Beresford with 17. Brown also had eight assists and five steals. Wesleyan built an early 11-0 margin and advanced the gap to 20 at 26-6 with seven minutes left in the first half. CCNY scored 11 straight to whittle the margin to nine, 26-17, but the Cardinals responded with a 12-1 run to push the difference back to 20 at intermission, 38-18. While the lead maxed at 30, 50-20, following a 12-2 spurt to start the second period, CCNY again narrowed the margin to 14, 54-40, with seven minutes to go. Wesleyan ran off 16 of the next 19 points for a 70-43 lead with 2:10 to go and coasted in from that point. Thomas was the team leader on the boards with nine.
Wesleyan headed to Manhattanville Tues., Dec. 6 for its next contest, and improved its record to 7-1 with a hard-fought 72-69 triumph. Brown again led the way with 21 points, followed by Beresford with 17. Wesleyan led comfortably most of the way, and by as many as 15 points in the second half (55-40 with 12:52 left), before holding off the charging Valiants in the closing minutes. Wesleyan led just 71-69 before Julian Harris '14 snagged a key offensive rebound off a missed Wesleyan free throw with :14 to go, allowing Brown a chance to go to the line with :09 left. He made one of two and the Valiants missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The team will look to run its win streak to six games with the final home game of the first semester, taking on Westfield St. Thurs., Dec. 8.