Sam LaCroce '12 & Eileen Gaffney '12 Provide Heroics as Cards Rally for 62-61 Win vs. St. Joe's (ME)

lacrocegaffney09

Eileen Gaffney '12 (#30, right side of photo) scored a layup from the left side with :06.8 remaining to give Wesleyan a 62-61 lead, completing her double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Sam LaCroce '12 (#20, left side of photo) blocked the final St. Joseph's (Me.) shot as time expired to preserve the one-point victory Sun., Jan. 10. It was only the second meeting of the teams, complementing the 60-50 Wesleyan victory at St. Joseph's during a tournament Dec. 6, 2003.

St. Joseph's, fresh off a GNAC victory over nationally ranked Emmanuel earlier in the week, used a 10-0 run over a span of 2:20 to break a 41-41 tie with 10:26 to go and turn it into the game's largest lead at 51-41 with 8:05 remaining. But Wesleyan rallied to tie the game at 56-56 on a steal and drive to the basket by Emily Lippe '12 with 2:29 on the clock. A second-chance hoop by LaCroce (10 points, three blocks) at 2:05 put Wesleyan ahead 58-56. St. Joseph's had led most of the game as the Cardinals held a brief edge at 14-13 in the first half as well as the opening basket. Otherwise , the Monks held the lead for 19 of the opening 20 minutes and only trailed for a four-minute span in the second half shortly before going on the 10-0 run. In total, Wesleyan led for just six minutes over the course of the contest.

A free throw and basket by the Monks made it 59-58 for the visitors with 1:30 to go. After an exchange of turnovers, the Cardinals took a 60-59 lead on a drive to the hoop by Erin Gold '11 with :37 showing on the clock. At :24, St. Joseph's went to the line for a pair but missed both. The Monks got the rebound and returned to the line for another pair at :23, this time making both for a 61-60 advantage. Gaffney followed with the go-ahead bucket for Wesleyan at :06.8. St. Joseph's got the ball in play during the closing seconds but the Cardinals knocked the ball out of bounds under the basket with :01.5 to go. The Monks got the ball in along the right side of the lane for what appeared to be a potential winning basket, but LaCroce recorded the 11th blocked shot of the game for Wesleyan and grabbed the rebound as time expired. Gaffney led the Cardinals in blocks on the day with five.

Wesleyan will be on the road Tues., Jan. 12 for a Little Three contest at Williams for its next outing.