Scoring the first seven points of the game en route to an early 17-3 lead, Wesleyan rolled out to a 53-23 halftime advantage and never let the lead get below 28 before rolling away to a 104-38 victory against SUNY Maritime in the opening game of the Herb Kenny/Crowne Plaza (Hartford-Cromwell) Tip-Off Tournament Fri., Nov. 16. Wesleyan, ranked 23rd nationally in Division III, moved on to the championship contest Sat., Nov. 17 against Daniel Webster College, which came back from a 14-point deficit to defeat Anna Maria College, 77-72, in the other first round matchup.
With tournament MVP Derick Beresford '13 (middle of photo with plaque) exploding for a career-high 27 points by sinking 10 of 16 field goals, four of them treys, Wesleyan pulled away from Daniel Webster in the second half. Wesleyan led for all but one minute early in the contest and pulled out to a 40-29 halftime margin. The lead narrowed to seven at 46-39 before the Cardinals rattled off 19 of the next 22 points for a commanding 65-42 lead with 8:00 on the clock. The final score favored the 23rd-ranked nationally Cardinals, 81-54. Beresford had eight of the 19 points during the decisive run. Named to the all-tournament team from Wesleyan was Mike Callaghan '13, who rolled up 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds as he posted a pair of double-doubles in the tournament.
Holding a 20-10 edge with 11:48 to go in the first half, Wesleyan used a 25-6 run to take complete control of its opener vs. Maritime with a 45-16 bulge with 3:30 to go in the half. Beresford scored 10 of the 25 points on his way to a game-high 18 to pace the Cardinals. Callaghan, who had 12 of Wesleyan's first 17 points, finished with 17 in the game while adding a game-high 10 rebounds. Shasha Brown '13 chipped in with eight points and a career-high 11 assists. He had 10 assists against Framingham St. in an 88-76 victory a year ago.
As a team, Wesleyan shot a brisk 66.7 percent from the floor and hit eight of 14 attempts from three-point range, led by Beresford, with four. The Cardinals also enjoyed a 37-14 rebounding margin.
Wesleyan remained in the familar confines of Silloway Gym for its next contest, a non-NESCAC Little Three battle with Williams Tues., Nov. 20. Using an 11-0 run over the final five minutes of the first half, visiting Williams took control of the contest and went on for a 56-48 victory in a night characterized by uncharacteristically poor shooting by both squads. Williams stayed undefeated on the season at 3-0 while Wesleyan dropped to 2-1. The next action for Wesleyan comes up Sun., Nov. 25 with a visit to Albertus Magnus.
Trailing for the last time in the game, 24-23, when Cardinal Brian Galvin '15 hit one of just two three-pointers for Wesleyan in the contest with 5:00 to go before halftime, Williams hit three of four baskets and four of five free throws to complete its run. Wesleyan went 0-for-7 from the field with two turnovers during the decisive five-minute stretch.
For the opening 18 minutes of the second half, neither team made much headway as the 10-point halftime lead (34-24) was extended to no more than 11 by Williams and whittled to no less than seven by Wesleyan until Brown, who led all scorers with 25 points, canned a pair of free throws with 2:03 remaining to make it a 50-44 game. A free throw by Williams was countered by a Brown basket to get Wesleyan within five at 51-46 with :54 left. But the Ephs made five of eight from the line in the final minute while Wesleyan missed two shots, committed a turnover and got a bucket from Callaghan with :10 on the clock for the final score. Callaghan ended the game with nine points and eight rebounds. Rebounding honors for the game went to Wesleyan's Julian Harris '14 with 11.
Williams shot just 38.6 percent from the field while Wesleyan managed a mere 29.3 percent, including 2-of-17 from behind the arc. Williams made only four of 19 attempts from long range. Total rebounds slightly favored Williams, 42-36, and turnovers slightly favored Wesleyan, 15-12. This was the 225th meeting of the long-time rivals with Williams holding a 142-83 edge in the series. The squads face each other again January 11 in Williamstown, Mass. in a game that counts in the NESCAC standings.