Ahead 24-3 with 11 minutes left in the first half, the Cardinals tacked on another 27-9 burst over the final nine minutes of the period for an insurmountable 57-18 margin at halftime. While the lead peaked at 48 (77-29) in the first nine minutes of the second half, Wesleyan settled for the 41-point win, equaling the largest ever in the series (Williams won 90-49 back in 1999) and nearly doubling the biggest win ever by Wesleyan, which had been 78-57 back in 1992.
Fourney, Sprung and Lowe all finished in solid double-digits while playing 22, 18 and 19 minutes, respectively. Fourney had 19 points, Sprung picked up 17 and Lowe 14 while combining to shoot 24-for-38 (63.2 percent) as a trio. Wesleyan shot 48 percent as a team and held Williams to 29 percent shooting while forcing 23 turnovers. Wesleyan committed just 10 turnovers, eight of those in the second period with the outcome no longer in doubt.
Wesleyan had a big rematch with undefeated and seventh-ranked nationally Amherst in its next game Fri., Jan. 16. Again, Wesleyan had a solid lead in the second half, up 51-39 five minutes into the period. But another strong Lord Jeff run this time a 15-0 stretch from the 10:13 mark to the 2:44 turned a 59-52 Wesleyan lead into a 67-59 Amherst edge. Amherst then made eight of its 12 free throws in the last 2:05 to keep Wesleyan at bay in clinching this year's Little Three title behind the 75-65 win. Fourney netted 14 points and Erin Gold '11 had 13 to pace the Cardinal attack.
On Sat., Jan. 17, the Cardinals concluded their first NESCAC weekend by hosting Trinity. The game came down to the wire but in the end, a pair of free throws by the Bantams with :15 left, a key steal in the last 10 seconds by Trinity and a Bantam offensive rebound of a missed free throw allowed the visitors to end an eight-game losing streak vs. Wesleyan, 55-54.
Wesleyan led by seven early on but fell behind by eight, 39-31, before rallying to take a 54-53 lead on a pair of Sprung free throws with :29 to go. But the final two free throws went to the Bantams. The Cardinals were unable to capitalize on four missed free throws by Trinity in the final 10 seconds when the Bantams got a huge offensive board.
Fourney led Wesleyan in scoring for the eighth game in a row and 11th time in 13 contests with 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field and 9-of-12 accuracy from the line.
Wesleyan will host Montclair St. in a non-conference game Tues., Jan. 20.
(all photos courtesy of SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)