Late Comeback Doesn't Hold as Men's Basketball Falls to No. 14 Wesleyan

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Tufts men's basketball team made a second half comeback to take their first lead of the game with 3:12 remaining, but they weren't able to hold off the No. 14 Cardinals, falling 60-52 on Saturday afternoon in Silloway Gymnasium. 

Pat Racy added 11 points to the Jumbos offensive efforts on Saturday.

With the loss the Jumbos are now 14-6 overall and 4-3 in NESCAC play this year.  Wesleyan improves to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in conference games. 

The Jumbos found themselves in a hole early, as Wesleyan scored the first six points of the game and used that momentum to build a lead.  With 8:55 left in the half, the Jumbos were down 24-9.  But, senior Everett Dayton made a three, and that was followed by a layup from freshman Luke Rogers and a layup from senior Vincent Pace to put a dent in the Cardinal lead. 

The two teams traded baskets and the Jumbos got a free throw from sophomore Patrick Racy and two more points from Pace to head into the break only down by eight, 34-26.  The Cardinal lead hovered around ten for a good part of the start of the second half.  Down by ten, 46-36, with 10:58 left in the game the Jumbos got a layup from sophomore Eric Savage, a free throw and then a jumper from Pace and then a three from senior KJ Garrett to come within two, 46-44, with 7:43 remaining.  

The Cardinals broke up the streak of unanswered Jumbo points with a three from Jordan Bonner.  After baskets for both sides for a bit, and the Cardinals up 51-48, the Jumbos got a layup from Racy to come within one, and then a jumper from Racy with 3:12 left gave Tufts their first lead of the night, 52-51. 

Bonner made a free throw to tie things and then another one to take a 53-52 lead and the Cardinals would hold on for a 60-52 win. 

Pace led the Jumbos with 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists.  Racy finished with 11 points for the Jumbos.  Savage finished with six points, nine boards and four assists.  Senior Thomas Lapham added three points, six rebounds and three steals.  

Antone Walker was the point lead for the Cardinals with 14 off the bench.  Bonner added 13 points and seven rebounds.  JP Bascom finished with ten points and ten rebounds.  

Both teams struggled shooting as the Jumbos shot 29.2% from the field, and the Cardinals were only a little better at 35.1%. 

Tufts will be back in action on Tuesday night when they host UMass-Dartmouth with a 7 pm scheduled start.  Wesleyan plays again on Friday when travel to Trinity for a 7 pm game.