MBB: Cougars Held Off by Wesleyan in Herb Kenny Championship

Photo by Steve King
Photo by Steve King

MIDDLETOWN, Conn.  – Clark University men's basketball hung tough in a back-and-forth affair on Saturday night, before falling to Wesleyan with the Cardinals holding off a spirited late-game push from the Cougars to come away with a 75-65 result in the championship round of the Herb Kenny Tip-Off Tournament at the Silloway Gymnasium. 

The Basics

Score: Cardinals 75, Cougars 65

Records: Clark University (1-3) | Wesleyan (2-0)

How it Happened

Junior Tyler Davern (Webster, Mass.) picked up his second consecutive double-double as the forward posted game-highs with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Antonio Lapeyrolerie (Plano, Texas) chipped in with ten points in 14 minutes the bench, including a pair of three-pointers, while Biko Gayman (Fort Pierce, Fla.) finished with 13 points and four assists. 

Sophomore Joel Arteaga (Wyncote, Pa.) logged nine points on 3-of-4 from distance while sophomore Anthony Grzembski (Webster, Mass.) chipped in six with a pair of triples. 

Wesleyan started off with a 5-0 lead as free throws from James Jordan and a triple from Sam Peek action going. Sophomore Joel Arteaga (Wyncote, Pa.) came back with a three-pointer for the Cougars to give the team their first points of the game with 17:25 in the half.

The Cougars cut the deficit to 10-8 following a layup from Gayman, but the Cardinals quickly scored five unanswered points to re-extend the advantage. After a triple from Wesleyan's Gabe Ravetz made it 21-15, Gayman came through again, draining a contested shot from distance to answer back before doing it again the next run down the court to cut the gap, 23-21.

Wesleyan went on an 8-2 run over the next four minutes of play to grab a 31-23 advantage. Clark came storming back as a pair of three-pointers from Anthony Grembski (Webster, Mass.) capped off a nine-point unanswered stretch to give the Cougars their first lead of the game at 32-31.

The Cardinals went on a quick 4-0 spurt in response before a three-pointer by Davern, the 13th of the half for the teams, cut the deficit 36-35 headed into the break.  

Wesleyan came out strong in the second half to take control of a 43-37 lead in the opening two minutes. But again, Clark wouldn't back down as Davern scored nine points to fuel a 13-5 drive, capped off by a lay-up from first-year Joshua Schibi (Burlington, Conn.) making it a 51-50 deficit for the Cougars.

Lapeyrolerie canned a three-pointer to give the Cougars a 53-51 lead with 11:41 left in regulation, but the back-and-forth theme continued as James Jordan kicked in six points for the Cardinals to bolster a 13-3 drive, giving the host a 63-58 advantage. A layup from Jordan with 4:11 left made it an eight-point cushion, but again the Cougars showed resilience as Gayman knocked down a contested layup before Arteaga delivered a three-pointer to cap a quick 6-0 run to shrink the gap to two points at 67-65. 

Wesleyan was able to hold off the Cougars late-game push as Jordan provided the last basket a 72-65 margin with 34 seconds remaining before free throws from Antone Walker and Sam Peek sealed the 75-65 final score. 

Clark University finished 12-of-33 from beyond the arc (36.4%) to Wesleyan's 10-of-30 from distance (33.3%). The Cardinals maintained a 46-32 advantage on the glass during the contest with 15 offensive rebounds amounting to 28 points in the paint. 

Gayman and Davern were announced to the Herb Kenny All-Tournament team following the contest. 

Up Next

The Cougars stay on the road for their next matchup as the team travels to Regis College on Tuesday, November 19 for a 6:00 pm non-conference matchup.