Women's Basketball

2017 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | 10 NCAA Tournaments | 10 Conference Titles

Late Run Pushes Wesleyan Past Women’s Basketball, 65-53

Late Run Pushes Wesleyan Past Women’s Basketball, 65-53

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.—Senior Jenna Klaes (Amherst, Mass.) scored 10 of her 15 points during a decisive 16-2 run, helping Wesleyan University defeat Babson College, 65-53, at the Williams Tip-Off Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Chandler Gymnasium.

The win moves Wesleyan to 2-0 on the young season while Babson drops to 0-2.

Junior Lindsay Roche (Arlington, Mass.) and sophomore Linnett Graber (Roseland, N.J.) each scored 13 points to lead the Beavers. Sophomore Briana Hunt (Newton, Mass.) chipped in with seven points and four steals while Graber and classmate Megan Otto (Scituate, Mass.) each grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

Senior KellyAnn Rooney (Guilford, Conn.) scored 15 points, junior Jess Cherenza (Westerly, R.I.) had 10 points and nine rebounds, and senior Amber Wessells (Montclair, N.J.) also chipped in with 10 points for the Cardinals. Klaes dished out a game-high four assists, while junior Cherkira Lashley (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led all players with 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.

After two ties and four early lead changes, Babson used a 10-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 18-9 with 9:58 left in the first half. First-year Giovanna Pickering (Hull, Mass.) and Graber made layups on back-to-back possessions around a jumper by Wesleyan sophomore Kaylie Williams (Danville, Calif.) to go ahead 12-9. Roche knocked down a jumper and Hunt scored four straight points to push the lead to nine.

Both teams struggled offensively in the opening stanza, as the Cardinals shot only 26 percent (6-for-23), while the Green and White made just three field goals over the final eight and a half minutes of the half. Wesleyan went 10-for-11 at the free throw line, and cut the Beavers' lead to two at 25-23 going into the break.

The teams went back-and-forth for much of a second half that featured nine ties and eight lead changes. The Cardinals used an 8-0 spurt to grab its biggest lead of the game at 39-33 with 15:05 to go, only to have Babson counter with a 9-2 run, capped by a Pickering free throw to put the Beavers back in front 42-41 with 12:01 left.

After trading hoops, first-year Gena Restiano (Revere, Mass.) buried a three-pointer to put the Green and White in front 51-49 with 7:58 to go. Unfortunately, it would be the Beavers final lead of the day. Williams knocked down a pair of free throws to tie the game and Cherenza followed with a layup to put Wesleyan in front 53-51. Klaes then took over, hitting a three-pointer and a layup, as well as five late free throws as Cardinals held Babson without a hoop for nearly seven and a half minutes down the stretch.

For the game, the Beavers shot just 29.6 percent (16-for-54) from the floor, while Wesleyan made just 32.7 percent (18-for-55) of its field goals. The Cardinals held a 48-33 advantage on the glass.

Babson returns to action on Wednesday night, as it opens conference play by hosting Coast Guard at 7 p.m., while Wesleyan will travel to Western New England for a 7 p.m. start on Tuesday night.