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Men’s Basketball’s Second Half Comeback Effort Comes Up Just Short Versus Wesleyan

David Labossiere

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Despite storming back in the second half, The Connecticut College men's basketball team fell to Wesleyan by a 78-70 decision on Saturday afternoon at the Charles B. Luce Field House.

Connecticut College, which trailed 47-29 at the recess, came out of the break on fire by scoring 12 unanswered points to slash the margin down to six. Sophomore Jack Zimmerman (Bedford, N.H.) started the run by stealing the ball and finding senior captain David Labossiere (Stoneham, Mass.) for a trifecta, and sophomore Dan Draffan (Hamden, Conn.) added three field goals during the stretch to fuel the Camels. Freshman Ryan Omslaer (Jackson, N.J.) capped the streak with a layup that prompted a Cardinal timeout less than five minutes into the frame.

The visitors, however, were able to recover and move ahead by 11 on three occasions over the next three minutes. Jordan Bonner then gave Wesleyan a 61-49 lead at the midway point by throwing down a dunk and making the ensuing free throw, but the Camels would not go away and came within six again when Draffan converted a 3-point play the old-fashioned way to create a 61-55 score with 8:30 left.

Connecticut College continued to fight and came as close as five when Zimmerman found Draffan for a trey which made it 73-68 with 42 seconds left, but that was as close as the hosts would come. Austin Hutcherson, JR Bascom and Bonner combined to drain five of six free throw attempts to allow the Cardinals to escape with the win.

Wesleyan (13-4, NESCAC 4-1) never trailed in the opening half despite being challenged for a good portion of the stanza. But after junior Patrick Lazor (West Hartford, Conn.) canned a shot from downtown to make it 23-20 with 9:15 on the clock, the Cardinals would end the half on a 24-9 run which would prove to be the difference. Antone Walker extended the lead to twin figures at 32-22 by drilling a 3-pointer before finding Schackylle Dezonie to give the visitors a 47-29 cushion which they would never relinquish.

Bonner and Bascom each registered a double-double to lead the way for Wesleyan. Bonner finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Bascom added 12 points and 10 boards off the bench. Walker contributed 19 points, two steals, and was among three Cardinal starters to record three assists.

Draffan and Labossiere once again paced Connecticut College with 22 and 20 points, respectively. Labossiere also ended the game with four steals, and Draffan grabbed seven rebounds. Leotsakos also had a strong performance by registering 16 points and six rebounds.

Connecticut College (6-11, 0-5 NESCAC) will begin a five-game road trip when it visits Tufts on Friday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.