BABSON PARK, Mass.—Sophomores Maddie Clark (Contoocook, N.H.) and Caleigh Ryan (New York, N.Y.) combined for 16 fourth quarter points to help Wesleyan University hold off Babson College, 65-57, in the opening game of the Judy Pearson '85 Memorial Tournament on Saturday afternoon inside Staake Gymnasium.
With the loss, Babson slips to 4-5 on the year, while Wesleyan improves to 8-2 with its second consecutive victory.
First-year Megan Bauman (East Lyme, Conn.) scored 14 points to lead the Beavers. Senior Emily Bonifacic (Allendale, N.J.) finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, while classmate Katherine Tamulionis (Foxboro, Mass.) chipped in with 13 points, five board and three assists in the loss.
Ryan scored a game-high 20 points and pulled down seven boards, while Clark went 6-of-8 from beyond the arc on the way to finishing with 18 points for the Cardinals. Sophomore Marina Petruzzi (Clairton, Pa.) added 14 points and a game-high three steals in the win.
Wesleyan went 5-of-10 from beyond the arc in the opening frame and got three-pointers from first-year Maggie Lee (Southbury, Conn.), Clark and Petruzzi as part a 14-2 run over the final 3:48 of the first to build a 23-13 lead. The Green and White responded with a 9-0 spurt that included a triple from junior Nicole Hiller (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and a three-point play by classmate Katie Jones (Ridgewood, N.J.) to pull within one on a layup by Tamulionis just under four minutes into the second quarter.
The Cardinals pushed the margin back out to six only to see the Beavers responded with four straight free throws by Bauman and another bucket by Hiller as part of a 9-0 run that left the teams deadlocked at 31-31 going to the locker rooms. Wesleyan scored the first five points of the third quarter and extended its advantage to 44-36 thanks to three-pointers by Petruzzi and Ryan over the final 46 seconds of the stanza.
Babson pulled within two on a pair of free throws by Tamulionis, but Ryan and Clark connected on back-to-back three-pointers to make it 50-44 with 6:56 remaining in the fourth. Jozefick countered with a jumper and Tamulionis hit four more free throws to get the hosts within 53-50 at the 4:48 mark.
Ryan scored on a back door layup on the ensuing possession and Clark knocked down her sixth three of the game two trips later to stretch the Cardinals' lead back to six with under three minutes to go.
Both teams return to action on Sunday as Babson will take on Connecticut College in the 12 p.m. consolation game, while Wesleyan will play 22nd-ranked SUNY Geneseo in the 2 p.m. tournament final.
• Saturday's contest was just the third all-time and first since 2013 agianst Wesleyan for the Beavers, who are 1-2 in the all-time series.
• Babson outscored the Cardinals 28-16 in the paint but finished just 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc.
• Bauman scored in double figures for the sixth time in seven starts this winter.
• Saturday's loss was just the fourth in Babson's last 18 home games going back to last season.