Rashid Epps '16 Makes Winning Hoop off Feed from Jack Mackey '16 as Men's B-Ball Downs Hamilton, 63-60, But Loss to Williams Ends Playoff Chances
Jack Mackey '16 (#24, photo upper right) sent a pin-point pass from beyond the arc to a wide-open Rashid Epps (#00, photo lower left) under the basket on the left for a layup with :24 left, overcame a 60-59 deficit, and homestanding Wesleyan went on for a 63-60 NESCAC victory over Hamilton Fri., Feb. 14. Wesleyan concluded the regular season by hosting Williams Sat., Feb. 15. The 87-70 setback proved disasterous for the Cardinals playoff hopes as final-day wins by Tufts and Colby knocked Wesleyan to ninth place and out of the playoff picture dispite a 4-6 conference mark. Thus the season ends with an 11-13 overall record.
Wesleyan led most of the way in the contest vs. Hamilton, racing out to an early 21-9 edge as BJ Davis '16 #4, main photo) made two of his four treys in the game in the early going. The half ended with the Cardinal ahead, 36-27. When Mackey opened the second half with a three-pointer, Wesleyan equaled its largest lead of the game, but Hamilton stayed within range and got as close as two, 47-45, with 10:46 left on a three-pointer. When Hamilton hit another trey and then a basket with 7:00 on the clock, the game was tied 50-50. But Wesleyan posted the next seven points, begun by another trey from Davis. Hamilton scored on four straight possessions between 1:56 and :48, the last basket from the left side giving the Continentals their first lead since holding a 6-5 margin 1:54 into the game, with a 60-59 lead. Wesleyan then got the game-winning bucket from Epps. Hamilton missed a three-pointer with :05 left and Joe Edmonds '16 got the rebound for Wesleyan, was fouled, and calmly sank two free throws for the final score. Hamilton did get off a pressured three-point try from 26 feet and hit the rim, but the final horn sounded as Mackey hauled in the last rebound.
Davis led the Cardinals in the game with 16 while Epps and Harry Rafferty '17 added 11 each and Mackey had 10.
Against Williams, the Cardinals had the game tied, 22-22, with six minutes left in the first period but a 20-10 surge by the Ephs produced a 42-32 halftime lead. A 10-3 Williams run to begin the second half ballooned the margin to 17, 52-37, and Wesleyan got as close as 10 on a number of occasions, the last at 76-66 with four minutes left. But the Ephs kept Wesleyan under control down the stretch for the 17-point victory.
Mackey came through with 17 points, one of four Cardinals with 10 or more points as Epps had a double-double, his 10th of the season, with 15 points and 11 boards, while Edmonds added 13 and Davis had 12, all on three-pointers in the second half.
For the year, Rafferty led the squad in scoring with a 12.8 PPG figure. Edmonds (11.3), Davis (11.1) and Epps (10.9) all averaged double-digits as well. Epps was tops on the boards with his 9.2 per game mark.
(photos by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)