Taking the lead for good, 39-37, with 15:16 left in the second half on a three-pointer by Avery Robinson '15 (#5, photo insert lower left), one of three treys by Robinson in the game as he netted 11 points, Wesleyan used a 12-0 run capped by a layup from Shasha Brown '13 (#11, main photo), who had 23 points, to take control and go on for a 70-59 victory at Westfield St. Wed., Dec. 5. The Cardinals handed the Owls their first loss of the year after a 6-0 start, which included a resounding 68-54 win over Springfield, a squad that knocked off Amherst Dec. 1, 70-64.
Once ahead by nine, 46-37, with 12:44 to go, Wesleyan let Westfield get no closer than four, 53-49, at the 6:18 mark. At that point, Wesleyan netted the next seven points, five by Brown, to lead by 11, 60-49, with 3:13 on the clock. The lead peaked at 12 before settling in at 11 by the final horn.
Coming off the bench to play 15 minutes, Rashid Epps '16 (#00, photo insert upper left) posted his second straight double-doble with 10 points, on 4-of-5 shooting from the floor, and 10 rebounds, four of them on the offensive glass. He outrebounded the entire Westfield squad in term of offensive rebounds as the Cardinals held a 47-29 edge on the boards and limited the Owls to three offensive caroms. Glen Thomas '14, in his first game back after missing six contests, grabbed 10 rebounds and Mike Callaghan '13 had nine boards and seven points. Derick Beresford '13 added 10 points for the Cardinals.
Wesleyan trailed throughout the first period and by as many as 10, 20-10, before the Cardinals narrowed the difference to just two at intermission, 34-32. The second half belonged to Wesleyan as the Cards improved their all-time record vs. Westfield to 6-0, including a tight three-point win last year.
The Cardinals closed out the first semester Sat., Dec. 8 with a trip to Curry, a team Wesleyan knocked off, 80-59, in the first ever meeting of the teams last season. Curry avenged that loss by capturing a down-to-the-wire 81-78 victory. Neither team led by more than six points during the second half after the Cardinals fought back from an eight-point deficit in the first period to take their first lead of the game, 41-40, with 17:56 to go on a three-pointer by Brown. Wesleyan then had its greatest advantage at four point (52-48) on a basket by Epps with 14:44 to go and the lead was still four when Callaghan, who led all scorers with 26 points, a career-high for him, hit a bucket for a 56-52 lead with 12:35 remaining. A 12-2 Curry run put the home team ahead, 64-58, at the 8:13 mark. Still, the game came down to the final minute as the teams were tied, 78-78, with :51 on the clock. An offensive rebound by Curry after a missed free throw led to the go-ahead layup with :25 left. The Cardinals then committed a costly turnover, leading to a Curry free throw at the :13 mark. Wesleyan had a final possession and attempted a trey at the buzzer but came up empty. Brown added 17 points to the Cardinal cause and had eight assists while Beresford chipped in with 15 points. Thomas had a game-high 13 rebounds as again, Wesleyan held an edge on the boards with a 38-27 margin. But 53.6 percent shooting by the Colonels and only 12 turnovers helped Curry secure the win as Wesleyan shot 44.4 percent with 16 turnovers.
Wesleyan returns to action Sun., Dec. 30 with a road trip to Pennsylvania, facing Cabrini for the first time.