MIDDLETOWN, Conn. - In the opening NESCAC game of the year for both squads, Wesleyan broke a 55-55 tie with 2:08 to play on a free throw by sophomore Derick Beresford, starting a 9-0 Cardinal run to the final buzzer as Wesleyan defeated visiting Trinity here this evening, 64-55. Beresford, who led Wesleyan with 16 points and added eight rebounds, canned four free throws in the final 13 seconds to seal the win. Both teams are 8-6 overall after the game.
Down the stretch, Trinity went 0-for-5 from the field and committed one turnover while Wesleyan got a pair of driving baskets from sophomore Shasha Brown, one with 1:16 to go and another with :23 left, pushing the Wesleyan lead to 60-55. Brown ended the game with 10 points.
Trinity had led throughout the first half, though Wesleyan came back to tie on several occasions but never led. The Bantams, who were paced by the 13 points of senior Brian Ford, led 9-3 early and equaled their largest lead with a 29-23 edge just before halftime, which brought about a 29-25 Bantam lead.
Wesleyan took its first lead of the game, 34-33, on a Brown free throw with 15:06 remaining That erased a 33-29 Bantam advantage and was part of an 11-2 Wesleyan run, resulting in a 40-35 Cardinal margin. It was Wesleyan largest lead until the final :30. Trinity came back to take a 42-40 lead on a basket by sophomore Cameron Sutton with 10:54 to go. Trinity held its last lead, 51-50, with 4:51 left on a pair of freshman Eric Dean free throws. Wesleyan then scored five straight, capped by a traditional three-point play by sophomore Mike Callaghan (15 points), for a 55-51 Wesleyan lead with 3:21 on the clock. Four Bantam points by senior Luke MacDougall, the only other Bantam in double-digits with 11 points, evened the count at 55-55 with 2:26 remaining.
Wesleyan also got 10 points from junior Jason Mendell and a game-high 10 rebounds from freshman Glen Thomas as the Cardinals forged a 46-24 margin on the boards. That was countered by a 22-11 turnover margin that favored the Bantams.
Wesleyan finishes its opening NESCAC weekend by hosting Little Three rival Amherst Sat, Jan. 15 while Trinity travels to in-state rival Conn. College Saturday to close out its NESCAC weekend.