KellyAnn Rooney '14 Ties Career High for Points, Has Top Rebounding Day in Hard-Fought OT Loss to Williams - Season Ends at Tufts in NESCACs - Jenna Klaes '14 Senior All-Star
KellyAnn Rooney '14 (#11, main photo), playing her final career home game vs. Williams Sat., Feb. 15, posted a career-high tying 22 points and added a career-best eight rebounds as the Cardinals took 15th-ranked Williams into overtime before dropping a 76-71 decision in the regular-season finale. Rooney was a stellar 14-for-15 at the line, accounting for nearly two-thirds of her points in the game.
Wesleyan recovered from a 10-2 deficit against Williams to tie the score, 13-13, then outscored its visitor, 18-9, the rest of the half to secure a 31-22 margin at intermission. Beginning the second half on a 9-0 run, Williams evened the count at 31-31, and went on to grab a 42-37 lead with 11:20 to play. The scoreboard favored the Ephs, 51-45, heading into the final seven minutes of regulation. Eight consecutive Cardinal points, with three each from Rooney and Brenna Diggins '17, gave Wesleyan a 53-51 lead with 5:13 left. When Rooney drove to the well for a basket with 3:05 remaining, Wesleyan held a 59-55 margin. Williams came back to take a 63-61 lead before another Rooney hoop tied the game, 63-63, with :27 left. Neither team scored before regulation concluded. Overtime was decided in the final minute as the teams were tied at 71-71. Williams broke the deadlock with a big three-pointer at the :11.3 mark. Wesleyan was guilty of an inbounding turnover on its next possession, was forced to foul, and the Ephs added two points at the line for the final margin.
Cherkira Lashley '15 (#23 photo insert lower left) had a strong game off the bench for the Cardinals with 11 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Wesleyan, as the eighth seed in the NESCAC tournament, traveled to top-seeded and nationally ranked #6 Tufts for the opening round of the playoffs. Wesleyan hung with the Jumbos during the first eight minutes of the game but a 19-4 Jumbo run turned an 8-7 lead into a 27-11 margin eight minutes later and the half ended with Tufts up, 30-17. The Cardinals got no closer than 11 at the start of the second half and Tufts gradually lengthened the lead throughout the period to a final score of 74-46. Jenna Klaes '14 led Wesleyan with 12 points in her final career game. Wesleyan finished the year with a 12-12 overall record. Klaes went on to be named to the New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) Division III senior all-star classic, played at Smith College March 29.