Wesleyan races past Nichols, 80-61

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Nichols College men's basketball team suffered their first setback of the season with an 80-61 loss at the hands of Wesleyan University on Tuesday night in non-conference play at the Silloway Gym in Middletown, Conn.
Four players reached double-figures in scoring for the Bison led by 15 points and four rebounds from senior Daequon Antoine. Freshman Nate Tenaglia added 14 points off the bench, while sophomore DeAnte Bruton had an all-around game with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Junior Marcos Echevarria chipped in 10 points, with sophomore Jerome Cunningham pulling in a team-best eight rebounds on the night.
Wesleyan was paced by 21 points and seven rebounds from junior Jordan Bonner. Junior Kevin O'Brien just missed a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds to go with five assists and four blocks, while senior JR Bascom netted nine points for the home team.
The Cardinals knocked down 33-of-61 (54.1%) of their shots on the night, while the Bison only connected on 20-of-69 (29%), including 9-of-29 (31%) of their three-pointers. Wesleyan pulled in 47 rebounds compared to 35 for the Bison, while Nichols (15) held a slight edge in turnovers over Wesleyan (19). Wesleyan was able to control the inside game with 54 points in the paint, while also getting out on the break with 16 fast-break points.
Nichols fell into an early 10-5 hole following a JR Bascom layup, but five-straight points from Antoine tied the game at 10-10 with 14:17 to play in the opening half. After Wesleyan freshman Antone Walker gave the Cardinals the lead back, junior Josiah Kimball buried a triple to give the Bison their first lead of the game at 13-12 nearly a minute later.
The Cardinals answered with an 11-4 run capped by a layup from freshman Jordan James with 7:39 remaining to jump ahead 23-17. The teams traded baskets until a 9-0 run by the home team stretched the Wesleyan lead out to 37-23 with less than two minutes remaining. Echevarria was able to connect on a three-pointer before the buzzer to make it a 39-28 game headed into the break.
Antoine knocked down another triple early in the second half to trim the deficit to 41-35, but another 8-0 run by Wesleyan pushed their lead to 49-35. Nichols got to within nine with five quick points, but that would be as close as they would get as the Cardinals would build leads in excess of 23 points en route to the 80-61 victory.
All-Time Series
Tuesday was the third meeting between the two squads and the Cardinals pulled ahead 2-1 in the series with the victory.
Next Games
Nichols (2-1) – Sunday, Nov. 26 at Trinity, 3:00 p.m.
Wesleyan (3-0) – Sunday, Nov. 26 at Manhattanville, 3:00 p.m.