NEW LONDON, Conn.--Sophomore Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, Conn.) exploded with a career-high 32 points but it was not quite enough as 25th ranked Wesleyan University held off a furious second half comeback by Connecticut College to take an 85-75 victory in the latest chapter of this longstanding intrastate rivalry in front of animated crowd of 403 spectators at Luce Field House today.
Rowe was 9-for-18 from the field, 4-for-7 from three-point distance and 10-of-11 at the charity stripe. He added four assists and three steals to his stat line. Senior Zuri Pavlin (New York, N.Y.) chipped in with 11 points and eight rebounds for the Camels. Colin Pascoe (Somers, Conn.) hauled in nine boards while sophomore David Labossiere (Stoneham, Mass.) added nine points and seven caroms in the contest.
"We played very hard and unselfishly," Connecticut College Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Satran said. "We made a few silly mistakes that hurt us but Wesleyan deserves a lot of credit for being able to capitalize on those mistakes."
The visiting Cardinals improved their record to 16-4 with a 4-3 mark in conference action while the Camels fell to 11-8 with a 2-5 mark in NESCAC play.
Sophomore guard Jordan Bonner (Houston, Texas) poured in 23 points to go with six rebounds and three assists to lead the Cardinals in the triumph. Bonner was 6-10 from the field, 4-of-6 from long distance and 7-of-8 at the foul line. Senior forward Joseph Kuo (New York, N.Y.) and Harry Rafferty (Portsmouth, N.H.) netted 20 points each for Cardinals in the win. Kuo had six rebounds while Rafferty finished with five boards and five assists.
Wesleyan carried a 34-31 lead into the break when Nathan Krill (St. Helena, Calif.) knocked down a trey from the left side of the arc as time expired in the opening half. With 7:41 remaining in the contest, Rafferty capped an 8-0 run with a three-ball that vaulted the visitors out to a 66-54 advantage.
But the Camels stormed back with a 17-3 run of their own to take the lead on the visitors. Rowe ignited the hosts with his versatile inside outside play. With 7:29 left, the sophomore star drove end to end to back in a layup in the lane. Later on with 5:23 to play, Rowe sprinted into the front court and buried a triple from the right side of the arc in transition to pull the Camels to within 69-63.
Rowe connected with Pavlin on a nice backdoor cut with 4:47 to go that trimmed the deficit to 69-65. Labossiere followed with a trey from the right baseline before senior Lee Messier (Narragansett, R.I.) capped the rally with 3:14 to play, draining a three ball from the middle of the arc to put the Camels on top 71-69.
But Rafferty tied things up at 71 with a jumper on the ensuing Cardinal possession. The visitors scored the next three points on the line to take a three-point advantage. Then, with 1:07 to play, Bonner nailed a triple of his own from the top of key to provide Wesleyan with a 77-71 lead. Rowe answered with a pair of free throws to trim the deficit to 77-73 with 55 seconds left but the Camels could not get any closer and the Cardinals escaped with the 85-75 win.
Wesleyan was 9-for-18 (50%) from three-point distance. But the Camels did a nice job on the backboards, holding a 42-38 rebounding edge and capitalized on that success by out-scoring the visitors 23-to-18 at the foul line.
Connecticut College will host Western Connecticut State University Wednesday night for a 7:00 p.m. game here in the Whaling City.