Late Wesleyan rally leads Cardinals past Hamilton

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The Hamilton College men's basketball team's four-game winning streak ended when host Wesleyan scored four points in the last 23 seconds to rally for a 63-60 win at Wesleyan's Silloway Gym Friday night. Despite the loss, the Continentals clinched a spot in the NESCAC playoffs; Hamilton (13-10, 4-5 NESCAC) will play a quarterfinal game at an opponent to be determined next Saturday. The Continentals are tied for sixth in the league standings.

The Cardinals (11-12, 4-5 NESCAC) scored the game-winning basket with 23 seconds left, thwarting a Hamilton comeback that saw the Continentals score seven points in just 47 seconds to erase a 59-53 deficit. Matt Hart '16 connected on a three-point basket with 1:35 to go and Hamilton forced Wesleyan turnovers on the next two Cardinal possessions with Greg Newton '14 following both with a basket, culminating in a 60-59 Continental advantage with 48 seconds remaining. Rashid Epps '16 scored the game winner for Wesleyan 24 seconds later. Joe Edmonds '16 rebounded a Hamilton miss that would have put the Continentals ahead then sank two free throws to provide the final margin.

Hart led Hamilton with 17 points and six assists. Newton finished with 11 points and four assists. Peter Kazickas '15 – whose steal set up Newton's basket that gave the Continentals their final lead –contributed 13 points off the bench, including 11 in the second half.

Wesleyan led by as many as 12 points early in the second half; Hamilton's late rally put the Continentals ahead for the first time since the game's first two minutes.

BJ Davis '16 led all players with 19 points, making seven of 11 shots from the floor for Wesleyan. Epps scored 11 points and Jack Mackey '16 added 10, including a three pointer to open the second half that stretched the Continentals' nine-point lead to a game-high 12.

Jack Donnelly '16 scored seven points and led Hamilton with six rebounds.

Epps, Mackey and Joseph Kuo '17 each pulled down six rebounds for Wesleyan. Kuo also led the Cardinals with four steals.

Hamilton plays its final regular-season game Saturday, traveling to Connecticut College for a 4 p.m. game. The Cardinals host eighth-ranked Williams Saturday afternoon.