Cards Push Record to 8-2 with Win at Montclair St. and First-Round Tournament Win at Springfield
In a game that featured no more than a seven-point differential at any juncture of the contest, Wesleyan took the lead for good, 47-46, on a free throw by Ali Fourney '09 (#11, main photo) with 13:21 to play as the Cardinals went on to claim a 75-70 victory at Montclair St. Sat., Dec. 29. It was the team's first game in 18 days as Fourney, the latest NESCAC Player of the Week honoree, netted 25 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists. Lucy Sprung '08 (#34, photo insert lower left) came through with her second-straight double-double with 20 points and a career-high 17 caroms, 13 on the offensive side. After taking the lead for good, Wesleyan extended its margin to a game-best seven points (58-51) with 8:53 left and entered the final five minutes ahead 67-60. Montclair whittled the gap down to 71-68 with 1:11 to go but a basket by Stephanie Savas '08 and two free throws with :02 remaining by Fourney sealed the win in the first-ever meeting between the two teams. The Cardinals had four players in double-figures with Meredith Lowe '09 (#20, photo insert upper left) contributing 14 and Nikki Maletta '08 adding 10. Wesleyan was back in action at Springfield College in the Naismith Classic Thurs., Jan. 3, facing the home squad. Using a 10-2 run at the start of the second period, the Cardinals took a solid 44-33 lead and never let it fall below five the rest of the way. The lead reached as high as 18 before it ended with a 70-55 score. With Fourney sidelined by an ailment early in the contest, Sprung and Lowe both rose to the occasion with career-high games of 21 and 19 points, respectively. Lowe was a blistering 8-for-10 from the field. The victory puts Wesleyan in the championship game vs. Bates Fri., Jan. 4. Bates was a 77-52 victor over William Paterson in its first-round matchup.