Cherkira Lashley '15, KellyAnn Rooney '14 & Jenna Klaes '14 Help Women's Basketball Rally for Wins vs. Plattsburgh & Babson - Team Adds Win Over WNE
Cherkira Lashley '15 (#23, right side photo by SteveMcLaughlin Photography.com) posted 14 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double, as both represent all-time highs for her, helping the Cardinals rally from a nine-point halftime deficit and capture a 56-49 win over Plattsburgh St. The game, part of the Williams Tip-Off Tournament, was played at MCLA Sat., Nov. 16. Wesleyan played its second and final game of the tournament against Babson Sun., Nov. 17 at Williams. Wesleyan again recovered from a nine-point first half shortfall and came away a 65-53 winner.
Falling behind Plattsburgh midway through the first half, Wesleyan trailed for more than 25 minutes and faced a 24-15 halftime deficit. But the Cardinals, who still faced a substantial 37-28 shortfall on the scoreboard with 10:42 remaining, used a 16-5 run over the next 6:35 to take their first lead since the opening five minutes of the game, 44-42. Jenna Klaes '14 (#14, photo insert lower left) buried a pair of free throws to put Wesleyan ahead for good at the 4:07 mark. Wesleyan made it 48-42, then held off Plattsburgh, which got as close as 48-47, with a timely basket from Dreisen Heath '15 and six free throws in the final :35. Contributing 13 points and nine rebounds to the Wesleyan cause was Kaylie Williams '16. This was the first-ever meeting of the two Cardinal squads.
Down by as many as nine at the midway point of the first half vs. Babson, the Cardinals battled back to narrow the gap to two at halftime, 25-23. Wesleyan got the early jump in the second half, pulling out to a 39-33 edge but the Beavers recovered and held a 51-49 lead with 7:58 to go. Wesleyan then rattled off 16 straight points over the next seven minutes with Klaes netting 10 in a row to extend a 53-51 margin to 63-51 with 1:06 on the clock. Klaes had a trey, a layup and went 5-for-5 at the line during the stretch as she tied with Kelly Ann Rooney '14 (#11, photo insert upper left) for the team lead in scoring on the day with 15 points. Amber Wessells '14 added 10 points. Lashley again led the way on the boards with 10, helping Wesleyan to a 48-35 edge on the glass. Wesleyan and Babson had played just once previously with the Beavers taking the game four years ago by a 29-point differential.
Next up for the Cardinals was a trip to Western New England Tues., Nov. 19. There the Cardinals trailed at halftime for the third time this season, yet came away victorious, 60-51. It was Wesleyan's fourth straight win over the Golden Bears. Showing the team's balance, a fourth different player paced the squad in scoring as Heath netted 14 points, seven of them in the final four minutes to help Wesleyan maintain a comfortable lead into the final horn. The Cardinals, who did forge a 10-point first-half lead, 13-3, only to trail at intermission, 24-23, took the lead for good with 17:39 left on a three-pointer by Wessells, breaking a 27-27 tie. Wesleyan led by as many as 14, 59-45, down the stretch. Brenna Diggins '17 had a breakout game, contributing nine points and a team-high six rebounds in just 13 minutes. Wessells and Williams both had eight points.
Wesleyan opens the home season Fri., Nov. 22, facing UMass Boston in the first of two games in the Courtyard by Marriott Tournament. The Cardinals close out the three-team affair by taking on Albertus Magnus Sun., Nov. 24.