WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- James Wang scored his 1,000th career point as his 21 led the Ephs to the 82-63 victory over the Wesleyan Cardinals. Wang – who went 8-for-13 from the field today – is the 29th Eph to join the 1,000-points club.
Said Coach Mike Maker about Wang's accomplishment, "James, I've said this so many times, is such a dynamic player and a wonderful young man. He's easy to root for and very popular on our campus. He's a genuine person and I think everyone's very proud of James getting his 1,000th point. I think James would be the first to credit his teammates, and we look for many more wonderful contributions from him."
Wesleyan (8-9, 1-3 NESCAC) gave the Ephs (17-1, 4-0 NESCAC) a run for their money in the first half. With just over ten minutes to play in the half, the Cardinals started an 11-0 run with a jumper from Derick Beresford. Topped by a 3-pointer from Otis Poisson, the run gave the Cardinals a five-point lead. The Ephs, however, did not panic as Wang sunk a three from a few steps behind the arc and then finished a layup while falling down to tie the game at 21 all. A little while later, Taylor Epley and Shasha Brown traded shots from behind the arc, but the half ended with two daggers from Brian Emerson, who sunk two threes in the final minute. The Ephs went into the locker room with the four-point lead.
The second half was a different story as the Ephs exploded on offense. Starting at the 14:10 mark, the Ephs went on a 14-0 run led by a 3-pointer from Wang and another from Hayden Rooke-Ley. Following the run, Jordan Mickens and Epley each added a three of his own to push the Eph-lead to 17. Troy Whittington then sent a message with a dunk from the left side off of a beautiful pass from Nate Robertson.
Said Coach Maker about the Ephs' second-half effort, "Around the 13-minute mark, I thought we had a wonderful combination in there. We started to really defend and communicate, [which] enabled us to get some separation. I'm really pleased with our total team effort today. We continue to defend; we're solid defensively and efficient on offense. It took us a while to do that. You have to give Wesleyan a lot of credit because they're very well-coached, and they have good talent [and] really good, quick perimeter players, so they're difficult to defend. I'm really proud of our efforts."
Although Wesleyan fought hard until the end – Jason Mendell hit a beautiful 3-pointer from the left corner with 5:07 to play and David Fogel added another with just under a minute left – their efforts were not enough as the Ephs claimed their fourth league victory.
After Wang's 21, Whittington was second for the Ephs with 13 points. As a team, the Ephs shot 49.1% from the field. The Ephs had 13 3-pointers in the game. Coach Maker commented on his team's use of the long-ball after the game: "It's a weapon. We believe in the 3-point shot to spread the defense out. We have multiple players that can shoot it; they know they have the freedom to shoot it. When we share the ball, we can be very dangerous, and we can spread the floor. It's [having] good players and allowing them to use their ability."
Brown led the way for the Cardinals with 16 points. Wesleyan shot 42.9% on the day.
The Ephs' next matchup is against Skidmore. They will play there at 7:00 on Tuesday night.