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Trinity Men's Basketball Weekly Preview: NESCAC Semifinals

Trinity Men's Basketball Weekly Preview: NESCAC Semifinals

This Week: The top-seeded Trinity College men's basketball team opened the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Tournament with a 66-63 victory versus Middlebury in Hartford last week. This week, the Bantams will host the NESCAC final four. Trinity will take on in-state rival Wesleyan on Saturday before Bowdoin and Amherst square off in the other semifinal. The two winners will meet on Sunday for the conference crown and an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Match-up:
NESCAC Semifinals
No. 1 Trinity (20-5, 9-1)
vs. No. 6 Wesleyan (17-8, 5-5)
Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
Stan Ogrodnik Court inside Oosting Gymnasium
Hartford, Conn.

Live Stats:
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Earlier This Season Versus the Cardinals: Junior guard Rick Naylor scored a game-high 17 points off the bench as Trinity scored a 65-61 road victory earlier this month. Junior forward Shay Ajayi netted 12 points to go along with nine rebounds in the victory for the Bantams. Wesleyan was led offensively by Joseph Kuo with a double-double off the bench thanks to 14 points and 11 boards. Jack Mackey also poured in 14 points for the Cardinals on 4-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.

Game Notes:
- Trinity clinched the No. 1 seed in the NESCAC Championship Tournament for the third time in program history and the first time since 2002. The Bantams took the regular season crown by two games as Bowdoin and Bates finished tied for second with a 7-3 record in conference play.
- The team is receiving votes in the latest D3Hoops.com poll. Trinity is the lone NESCAC team represented in the poll. The Bantams have received votes in the poll seven times this winter.
- Ajayi totaled 10 points, a game-high 11 rebounds, two blocks, and three steals in a 66-63 win over Colby in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. Also versus the Mules, sophomore big man Ed Ogundeko scored 11 points and pulled down seven boards while shooting 5-of-8 from the field. Junior guard Jaquann Starks led the Trinity offensive attack against Colby with 12 points, three assists and four rebounds.
- This season, the Trinity balanced offensive attack has seen three or players score in double figures in a game 19 times. Trinity has won all six contests in which four or more players scored at least 10 points.
- Trinity is 2-0 in overtime games this season and is 8-2 in front of its home crowd this season.
- The Bantams currently lead the conference in scoring defense this year, surrendering just over 63 points per game. Trinity also ranks second in the league in both rebounding margina (+8.2) and field goal percentage defense (38.2 %).
- Since losing at Cortland State in the Cortaca Classic on November 22, Trinity has won 17 of 20 games, highlighted by its current six-game winning streak. During that stretch, the squad have won six games by double figures.
- Trinity started the year with back-to-back games scoring at least 80 points for the first time under fifth-year Head Coach James Cosgrove. The last time the Bantams opened a season with two straight games scoring 80 or more points was during the 2004-05 campaign.