Harry Rafferty '17 Leads 4 Cardinals in Double-Digits but Rally Falls Short at Trinity, 70-65 - Team Also Loses at Amherst
Harry Rafferty '17 (#22, photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) scored 15 points to pace a contingent of four Cardinals in double-digit scoring at Trinity Fri., Feb. 7, but it wasn't enough to extend the Cardinals' NESCAC winning streak to four games as the Bantams came away with a 70-65 victory. Next for Wesleyan was a trip to Amherst Sat., Feb. 8 to complete the NESCAC weekend. The ninth-ranked nationally Lord Jeffs pulled out to a 12-point halftime lead and more than doubled it by game's end en route to an 81-56 win.
The Cardinals had a solid first half at Trinity, breaking a low-scoring 13-13 tie with less than six minutes to go in the period on a free throw by Joseph Kuo '17. When Joe Edmonds '16 added a trey and Jack Mackey '16 ended the half with a three-pointer, Wesleyan had its largest lead of the game, 26-19, at intermission.
But the Bantams netted the opening 12 points of the second half to pull out to a 31-26 lead and never relinquished the advantage the rest of the contest. Wesleyan trailed just 41-39 after Rafferty bagged a three-pointer with 11 minutes remaining, but a 7-0 Trinity run over the next 3:30 pushed the difference to 48-39 and the Cardinals got no closer than three down the stretch, that coming at 63-60 with :55 to go. The Bantams made seven of eight free throws in the final minute to keep Wesleyan at bay.
Joining Rafferty with scoring in the teens was BJ Davis '16 with 13 and Edmonds with 12. Davis made his first four attempts at the line in the game to run his string of consecutive made free throws to 32 over a five-game stretch before missing one early in the second half. He went 7-for-8 at the line in the game. Mackey added 10 points. While Wesleyan made just nine turnovers in the outing, a 45-31 rebounding edge for the Bantams helped control the outcome.
At Amherst, the Lord Jeffs led from start to finish and by as much as 14 in the opening period before settling for a 39-27 lead at intermission. A 10-2 start to the second half spotted the host a 49-29 margin 2:30 into the period. Wesleyan cut the difference in half, 60-50, with 8:37 left but the Lord Jeffs flexed their collective muscle down the stretch, limiting the Cardinals to six points while racking up 21 of their own for the 25-point win.
Wesleyan got 14 points from Edmonds while Rashid Epps '16 and Rafferty added 12 in the contest.
The Cardinals wrap up the regular season at home in the NESCAC weekend, facing Hamilton Fri., Feb. 14 and Williams Sat., Feb. 15. Both games will be webcast.