WORCESTER, Mass. -- Sophomore Tara Berger (Purchase, NY) scored 15 points and hauled in a career-high 19 rebounds, including a career-best 11 on the offensive glass, to help lead Wesleyan past Bridgewater State, 73-51, Friday night at the WPI Women's Basketball Holiday Tournament in Harrington Auditorium.
BSU sophomore Sara DaSilva (Chelmsford, MA) led all players with a game-best 20 points. DaSilva connected on 9 of 16 field goal attempts and added five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
The Cardinals (5-4) will face host WPI in the championship game at 3pm tomorrow, while the Bears (3-7) will meet Oberlin in the 1pm consolation.
Wesleyan flew out to a 17-4 lead after the first quarter. The frame was highlighted by a pair of consecutive layups by junior Maddie Bledsoe (Newton, MA) in the first four minutes. With 6:35 left in the second period, sophomore Olivia Gorman (Lower Gwynedd, PA) made it a 13-point game (23-10).
BSU junior Janet Maher (Mansfield, MA) then drained back-to-back triples for six of her ten first half points to bring the Bears within seven. Maher, in fact, connected for a trio of three-pointers in a span of roughly three minutes. DaSilva kept the Cardinals in check with a jumper and then a layup to whittle the deficit to five (25-20). Wesleyan used an 8-2 run to make it a double-digit advantage before DaSilva ended the half with another layup to close the gap to 33-24.
The Bears were able to get to within three in the latter portion of the third behind the scoring of DaSilva and junior Rhiana Page (Brookline, MA). DaSilva tallied the Bears first nine points of the period while Page scored the next five including a layup with 3:55 remaining to close the gap to 41-38.
A Page jumper with 1:27 showing on the third quarter clock kept it a three-point margin at 45-42.
The Cardinals, however, tallied the final five points of the period and then dominated the fourth quarter to win going away. Wesleyan outscored Bridgewater State 18-3 over the first six minutes of the final period.
The Cardinals' biggest lead was 26 points (71-45) with 2:53 left to play in the game.
Junior Maeve Vitale (Roswell, GA) added in 16 points and eight boards for the Cardinals, while Bledsoe totaled 13 points and nine caroms. Gorman pitched in with nine points and four assists to go with ten rebounds from sophomore Chynna Bailey (Brooklyn, NY).
Maher was the only other Bear in double-digit scoring with a season-high ten points. Senior Stephanie DeSantis (Walpole, MA) also grabbed five rebounds.
Wesleyan held sizable cushions in rebounds (64-28) and points in the paint (46-16) while Bridgewater State committed 11 fewer turnovers (24-13).