Men's Basketball, Led by NESCAC POTW Shasha Brown '13, Qualifies for NESCAC Tournament after 73-47 Win over Colby Following Tough Setback to Bowdoin
Wesleyan broke away from an 11-11 deadlock against Colby Sun., Feb. 10 with 13:40 left in the first half by scoring the next 13 points for a 24-11 advantage with 5:34 left in the period as Shasha Brown '13 (#11, left side photo) scored seven of his game-high 20 points during the run. The lead stood at 34-20 at halftime and bloomed above 20 during the second period as Wesleyan went on to take a 73-47 triumph and secure a NESCAC playoff spot. The NESCAC tournament begins Sat., Feb. 16 at the site of the top four seeds. Wesleyan locked up the sixth seed after all games were completed Tues., Feb. 12. As a result, the Cardinals make a return trip to Middlebury, seeded third after a triple-OT loss to Amherst to end the regular season. Wesleyan fell by a point in overtime when the Cardinals and Panthers met during the season.
Tickets for the NESCAC tournament game at Middlebury are available in advance to Wesleyan fan by going to the Middlebury Box Office or calling (802) 443-6433. Ticket prices are $5 for adults and $3 for students. Advanced sales will be held until noon on Fri., Feb. 15.
A 12-3 run to begin the second half spotted the Cardinals a 46-23 edge vs. Colby with 17:15 left and the margin remained above 20 points the rest of the contest. Bryan Bartner '26 was second on the Wesleyan squad for scoring with nine points while Glen Thomas '14 and Rashid Epps '16 shared top billing on the boards with seven each. Wesleyan enjoyed a substantial 44-25 margin in rebounding. Brown had four assists for the Cardinals along with his 20 points, raising his all-time Wesleyan record total to 1,739.
In the first game of the weekend Sat., Feb. 9, Bowdoin used a 19-7 run late in the first half to eliminate a 24-22 deficit and turn it into a 41-31 lead, then survived a furious Wesleyan rally in the final five minutes to take a 75-68 victory.
Down by a pair with 7:53 remaining in the first half, Bowdoin used the 19-7 run to take the lead for good. While Bowdoin extended the lead to as many as 16 points (55-39) with 12:15 to play, the Cardinals, who got 22 points from Brown, 15 of those in the second half, and 19 from Derick Beresford '13 (#3, photo insert upper right), narrowed the gap to just three at 71-68 with 1:12 to play. After a missed shot by Bowdoin, Wesleyan had a chance to tie but turned the ball over with :45 to go. A nice pass inside pass by Bowdoin led to an easy layup and a 73-68 margin with :13.3 to go. The Cardinals then missed a trey and Bowdoin got the rebound and then sank a pair of free throws with :04.8 left for the final seven-point margin. Wesleyan got 13 points from Mike Callaghan '13 (#44, photo insert lower right). Callaghan, with 1,156 career points, stands seventh on the all-time scoring list. Beresford, with 1,053, sits 19th. Each will look to improve those numbers during the NESCAC playoffs.