Ali Fourney '09 Ties Career High with 29 Points to Pace Cards to #6 Seed with 66-55 Win over Colby
Coming into its final regular-season game relatively assured of a spot in the upcoming NESCAC tournament but unsure of its opponent, Wesleyan got an answer after Ali Fourney '09 (#11, photo) led the squad to a 66-55 come-from-behind win over Colby to secure the sixth seed in the playoffs. Wesleyan got to visit third-seeded Tufts Sat., Feb. 21 for a first-round game. The Cardinals fell to the Jumbos in Medford during the regular season, 75-63, and were eliminated from the 2008 NESCAC playoffs by Tufts in the semi-finals at Amherst last season.
In the final regular-season contest Sat., Feb. 14 vs. Colby, Wesleyan found itself in an early hole as Colby jumped out to a 10-point edge and extended it to 13, 32-19, before settling for a 38-29 margin at intermission. Wesleyan then held Colby scoreless for the opening eight minutes of the second half while Fourney scored eight of her 19 second-half points during a 12-0 run for a 41-38 Wesleyan lead.
The teams jockeyed back and forth over the next eight minutes, staying within three points of each other. Fourney broke a 53-53 tie at the 3:27 mark, catching a long, lead pass from McKinley Tennant '11 (six assists) to go in for a layup. That started a 13-2 Wesleyan run to the final buzzer as the Cardinals went 4-for-5 from the field and 5-for-7 at the line while Colby was limited to 1-for-9 shooting.
In addition to her scoring, Fourney added four assists, five steals and three block. Her blocks upped her career total to exactly 100 as she became the first Wesleyan woman to crack the century mark for each of the seven major statistical categories. Following a season-ending 71-57 setback to Tufts, Fourney, who is Wesleyan's all time leading scorer with 1,498 points, has 512 field goals, 119 three-pointers, 355 free throws, 528 rebounds, 230 assists, 100 blocks and 279 steals to her credit.
At Tufts, Wesleyan fell behind 11-2 and fought its way back to trail 27-25 late in the first half. The Jumbos pushed it to six at halftime and opened up a 40-27 lead to begin the second period. Though Wesleyan scored the next seven points to narrow the margin to 40-34, that was as close as the Cardinals got as the lead grew to 65-45 with 4:22 left behind a 25-11 stretch over a 10-minute span. Lucy Sprung '08 had her third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Wesleyan posted its ninth straight winning season with a final record of 12-11.