Jenna Klaes '14 (#14, photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) netted a then career-high 20 points and KellyAnn Rooney '14 broke a 50-50 tie with 9:12 to play with her only basket of the contest, sparking an 8-0 Wesleyan run, and helping the Cardinals gain control of the outcome as they pulled away to post a 72-59 NESCAC triumph over visiting Bates Fri., Jan. 31. Wesleyan (12-6, 3-2 NESCAC) clinched a winning regular season with the victory and was back in action Sat., Feb. 1 to complete its NESCAC weekend by hosting undefeated and conference leader Tufts. Tufts held off a charging Cardinal squad to secure a 62-53 win and improve to 18-0 on the season.
Scoring on five straight possessions with the game on the line, Wesleyan got six points from Cherkira Lashley '15 during the 10-2 stretch en route to a 60-52 lead with seven minutes remaining. The Cardinals let the Bobcats get no closer than five down the stretch and used another 8-0 run to push a 60-55 lead to 68-55 with 3:00 on the clock. Wesleyan's final four points came at the line.
Klaes triggered a strong finish to the first half by Wesleyan as the Cardinals turned a tenuous 19-17 lead into a 39-31 difference at intermission by scoring on 10 of their final 11 possessions. Klaes scored six points during the run while Jess Cherenza '15 and Dreisen Heath '15 both had four. Heath joined Klaes in double-digits for Wesleyan with 13. Cherenza was tops on the boards for the Cardinals in the contest with 10 along with eight points.
Tufts, ranked fourth nationally, opened the game vs. Wesleyan on a 10-0 run, but Wesleyan settled down and got into the flow, narrowing the gap to 24-22 late in the first half and trailed by only three, 30-27 at intermission. After the Jumbs scored six stright to begin the second half and led by as many as 13 (51-38) midway through the period, Wesleyan again got into gear and made another run, moving as close as five, 56-51. Wesleyan then had two three-point tries with a chance to cut the gap to two, but each came off the rim and when Tufts got its own trey with 1:06 left, the lead grew to 59-51 and the Cardinals got no closer.
Klaes had another career day as she collected 22 points, making eight of 14 shots including a 4-for-6 effort from behind the arc. Lashey just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Wesleyan has another NESCAC weekend ahead as the Cards travel to Trinity Fri., Feb 7 to get things started. The game will feature a webcast.