Jess Cherenza '15 (#11, photo insert lower right) broke the final tie of the game with a jumper from the right side with 3:00 to go, giving Wesleyan a 45-43 it would not relinquish en route to a 51-44 road victory against Worcester St. Thurs., Dec. 6. The Cardinals closed out the first semester by hosting Williams Sat., Dec. 8 in a Little Three battle. The contest did not count in the NESCAC standings and went to the Ephs but a 59-39 count.
After Cherenza, who finished the game with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals, spotted the Cardinals the lead, Amber Wessells '14 (#22, main photo) made a key steal at midcourt and drove the floor for a layup. She was fouled on the play and converted the free throw for a 48-43 Cardinal lead at 2:45. The Lancers got their final point of the game at 1:09 on a free throw. Wesleyan added a free throw by KellyAnn Rooney '14 with :45 remaining after a big offensive rebound by Driesen Heath '15. The last two Wesleyan points came at the line when Wessells upped her point total in the game to 13 with a pair at the :25.7 mark. The Wesleyan defense did not allow Worcester to get off a shot in the closing seconds.
Wessells also had three assists and five steals in the contest. Rooney had nine points, four rebounds and three steals.
Wesleyan trailed for only 1:14 in the game, that coming late in the first half, 18-17, before Wesleyan rattled off the final seven points of the period for a 24-18 margin at intermission. The largest lead of the game was seven, matched by the final score. Worcester came back to tie the game four times in the second half, the first time at 30-30 with 11:28 to go and the last at 43-43 with 3:28 remaining.
Hosting Williams, Wesleyan found itself in an early 11-0 hole. The Cardinals climbed back within three at 19-16 with 8:49 left in the half but another Williams run, this time 11-2, spotted the visitors a 30-18 lead at intermission. When the Ephs began the second half with a 15-2 burst, Wesleyan trailed 45-20, the largest deficit of the game. The Cardinals got no closer than 18 the rest of the way. Wesleyan got 10 points each from Heath and Jackie Brown '16 while Cherenza led Wesleyan on the boards with five. Williams had a 48-30 edge in rebounding and held Wesleyan to 23.3 percent shooting. The Ephs had nine blocked shots on the afternoon.
Wesleyan returns to action Mon., Dec. 31 with a New Year's Eve home date vs. Colby-Sawyer.