After starting the year 0-3 in NESCAC play, Wesleyan won its third straight conference encounter as six Cardinals reached double-digits in scoring, led by Jack Mackey '16 (#24, main photo) with a career-high 20 points, during an 86-73 victory over visiting Tufts Sat. Feb. 1. Wesleyan concluded its non-conference schedule Tues., Feb. 4, hosting Eastern Connecticut in its next outing. Wesleyan prevailed, 68-62.
Shooting a blistering 64 percent from the field in the first half against Tufts, the Cardinals raced out to a 28-14 lead nine minutes into the ballgame and never let the Jumbos get closer than seven the rest of the contest. Wesleyan went 7-for-11 on three pointers over the opening 20 minutes with Mackey canning three of six himself. He bagged each of his three tries in the second half to finish 6-for-9 from long range and 7-for-10 overall. Also going 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-3 on treys was Harry Rafferty '17 (#22, photo insert upper right), good for 17 points. BJ Davis '16 added 16 points and went 5-for-5 at the line to extend his current streak of consecutive free throws to 24 over a three-game span. Joseph Kuo '17 chipped in with 11 points and Rashid Epps '16 and Joe Edmonds '16 supported the cause with 10 points apiece. For the game, the Cardinals hit 58.9 percent on field goals and sank 10 of 17 treys.
Beginning the second half with a 23-7 run, the Cardinals extended their 51-42 halftime margin to a game-high 74-49 with 9:08 to play. Tufts trimmed 12 points off the cushion by game's end. Wesleyan collected 17 assists with Davis accounting for five.
Against Eastern, Mackey connected on his fourth three-pointer of the game, coming from the right side with 1:05 left, to break a 60-60 tie and propel Wesleyan to victory. Mackey also was fouled on the play and converted the free throw to give the Cardinals a 64-60 edge. Prior to that, Wesleyan and Eastern stayed within two points of each other throughout the final 17 minutes of the contest. Eastern has its largest lead at 30-23 during the first half while the final score represented the biggest lead for Wesleyan in the contest.
The final four points for Wesleyan in the game came at the line by Davis, who extended his streak of consecutive free throws to 28 over the last four games.
Mackey finished with 15 points, going 4-for-6 on treys. Rafferty paced Wesleyan in scoring with 16 points while Davis chipped in with 14. Kuo tied for game-high honors on the boards with nine rebounds.
The win was the fourth in a row for Wesleyan this season and the fifth in a row for the Cardinals over the Warriors. The teams have now met 27 times with Wesleyan holding an 18-9 edge in the series. The teams have played each of the last 20 seasons and Wesleyan is 15-5 over the stretch.
Wesleyan is back on the court Fri., Feb. 7 at Trinity in a NESCAC matchup and the game will have a webcast and LiveStats.