The Wesleyan men's basketball team lost a heartbreaker this evening to Tufts. We arrived with 8 minutes left in the game. Tufts was up by about 5 or 6. The Jumbos soon extended that lead to 7, but two consecutive three pointers (one by the tallest man on the team that brought incredulous hoots from his friends behind us) put the Cardinals within 1 with only a minute or so left. Things looked promising until a Wesleyan power forward was called for traveling while trying to drive the lane. There had been a questionable traveling call earlier in the game, but this one looked reasonable. With only 9 seconds remaining and still down by one, Wesleyan was forced to foul as soon as Tufts inbounded the ball. This put Tufts on the free throw line. Tufts then proceeded to miss the front end of a one-and-one. Poor boxing out however allowed one of the Tufts forwards to snag the rebound. Wesleyan was forced to immediately foul again, putting Tufts on the line yet again. And again Tufts missed the front end of the one-and-one. But Wesleyan decided they didn't want the rebound this time either, and let the shooter grab it instead. Wesleyan fouled a third time, and again Tufts went to the line -- and yes, you guessed it, the Tufts player missed again. Finally the Cardinals decided to grab the rebound and fed it to the guard, who drove the ball up the right side of the court. The clock was at about 5 seconds, ticking down. It almost looked like there might be a replay of the Amherst game, but the long shot fell slightly short and rattled of the rim and backboard. Fortunately, the Wesleyan center was perfectly placed to push the ball back in, but his attempt fell just shy -- and the clock ran out.
A tough loss, but a great game nonetheless. Particularly impressive were some of the set offense plays. One involved a tricky double pick, where the inside pick rolled slyly to the basket and was fed the ball by the guard for an easy lay-up. This was with about 4 minutes remaining.
And if all that wasn't exciting enough, we then headed over to Beckham Hall and caught the last two hours of the jam-packed Contra Dance. Lots of dancers of all ages, and a wonderfully talented band.
[photo courtesy of Mark Masselli]
Post-script: The Wesleyan men's basketball team plays Bates tomorrow at 2. And the women's ice hockey team plays Connecticut College at 3.