Cardinals edge men’s basketball, 64-61
|Scott Place ’09 hit 5 of 7 three-point attempts for a season-high 17 points.|
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — Senior Stan Grayson converted a three-point play with 1:13 remaining in the game to put Wesleyan ahead, 61-60, and the Cardinals never trailed thereafter in securing a 64-61 NESCAC men’s basketball win over visiting Bates on Saturday. Wesleyan upped its record to 6-12 overall, 2-4 in league play while Bates fell to 11-9 overall, 2-4 in NESCAC play.
Wesleyan head coach Joe Reilly, in his first season at Wesleyan, was facing his former squad after leading the Bobcats from 1997-2008, compiling an 11-year record of 154-121.
Bates got off to a fast start, bolting out to a 13-2 lead, but Wesleyan rallied to grab a short-lived 25-24 lead before Bates got a three-pointer from senior Scott Place (Bridgewater, Mass.) to end the half, giving the Bobcats a 27-25 lead at intermission. Place tied for game-high scoring honors with sophomore teammate Brian Ellis (Braintree, Mass.) at 17 apiece, a season high for Place. Place did his scoring from behind the arc, going 5-for-7 from long range.
Bates led a majority of the second half and by as many as seven (58-51) with five minutes to play. But the Cardinals scored seven of the next eight points, capped by a three-pointer from senior Gabe Gonzalez-Kreisberg with two minutes to go, making it a 59-58 Bates advantage.
Bates got a free throw from Place at 1:31 to make it 60-58 before Grayson scored on a drive to the basket and was fouled. He sank the free throw for Wesleyan’s first lead since holding a 36-35 edge at the 15:50 mark of the second period.
After a missed shot by Bates and a Grayson rebound with 35 ticks remaining, Wesleyan got two more at the line from Grayson for a 63-60 margin. Junior Chris Wilson (Brewer, Maine) made the first of two free throws with :20 on the clock for Bates. Gonzalez-Kreisberg was fouled trying to collar the rebound and went to the line with :17.6 to go, making the first charity striper for a 64-61 lead. He and Grayson both finished the game with 16 points to lead Wesleyan.
Wilson looked to tie it for the Bobcats, but his three-point try missed to the left and Grayson again grabbed the board. Going to the line with :07.3 remaining, he missed both attempts and sophomore Nick Schmiemann (Weymouth, Mass.) cleared the board for Bates, but in their attempt to move up court, the Bobcats lost control near midcourt and never managed to get off a potential tying shot.
Bates will host Amherst College on Friday at 7 p.m., followed by Trinity College on Saturday at 3 p.m.