no. 15 Men’s Basketball Falls in Shootout Against UMass Dartmouth, 104-94

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA- No.16 ranked men’s basketball loses in a shootout against UMass Dartmouth Saturday afternoon, 104-94. Wesleyan loses for the first time since December 4th, snapping a winning streak of eight straight games. Both teams got out to slow starts but exploded for a combined 121 2nd half points to make for one of the most fast paced, high scoring games of the year in division three basketball. Wesleyan drops just their 2nd game of the season, falling to 15-2 (3-0 NESCAC). UMass Dartmouth continues their stellar start to the year with their 2nd win over a ranked team, putting them at 12-2 overall.

This matchup between two of the better basketball programs in the northeast this year, was as good as advertised. Sam Peek ’22 made his return to action coming off the bench for the first time this season. He put up 10 points and 12 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Another important piece off the bench for Coach Reilly’s squad was Antone Walker ’22. Walker continues to close in on 1000 points for his career, as his 20 points (three rebounds) today put him within 13 of that big milestone.

Wesleyan had three other players score in double figures in: Nicky Johnson ’25 (16pts), Gabe Ravetz ’23 (16pts), and Jordan James ’22 (16pts). Johnson added two steals and three assists, while Ravetz (6 rebounds) and James (5 rebounds) contributed on the glass for the Cardinals.

For as high scoring as this game got, it did not start out that way. Over the first four and a half minutes the teams combined for one singular field goal, a Ravetz short jumper one the third possession of the game. That’s when Sam Peek entered the game for the first time in three games and picked up right where he left off with a layup to tie the game at six.

The scoring began to pick up in the later part of the 1st half, with Ravetz hitting back-to-back triples to extend the Wesleyan lead to five. UMass Dartmouth would respond with a scoring barrage from JC Santos to end the half, he put up 16 points in the final seven minutes to give themselves a five-point halftime lead.

The 2nd half started with a James dunk, but for the next three minutes it was all Corsairs as they went on a 10-2 run fueled by Marcus Azor who finished with a game-high 23 points and 10 assists. UMass Dartmouth extended their lead to as much as 12 four minutes into the 2nd half, but Wesleyan responded nicely with a 15-6 that was predicated on getting the ball inside which cut the lead to three.
The teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the half. The Corsairs held around an eight point advantage for most of the latter parts of the contest, before Azor hit a short jumper to give UMass Dartmouth an 11 point lead serving as the dagger.

UMass Dartmouth shot 50.2% from the field and 7/18 from three. Wesleyan shot 54.8% from the field, while only hitting 7/25 threes. Wesleyan will travel to Medford, Massachusetts to face off against the Tufts Jumbos on January 25th.

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