'Cats Hold Off Millersville, 80-77
Wilmington 80, Millersville 77
Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - New Castle, DE
The Wilmington University men’s basketball team opened the last year of play at the Pratt Center with an 80-77 victory over the visiting Marauders of Millersville University in non-conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday evening.
The Wildcats (2-1) opened the game on a 19-9 run, maintaining control through the entire first half. The hosts entered the break holding a comfortable 42-33 lead. Wilmington continued to remain in the lead (61-51) seven minutes into the second half, but Millersville (2-3) responded with a 10-0 run to tie the game. That set the table for the down to the wire finish, as neither team would hold more than a two-possession lead over the game’s last seven minutes. After six lead changes, Wilmington’s Herb Dennis was clutch on the foul line, sinking four free throws in the last 31 seconds to seal the game. The Marauders had a chance to tie the game at the end of regulations, but a desperation three fell short and sent the Wildcats with the home-opening victory.
Wilmington was led by senior Corye Payton’s 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including an impressive 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Sophomore Herb Dennis added 16 points and six assists, while junior Brandon Fox had 12 points and seven rebounds. Senior Matt King added nine points and seven boards for the hosts.
Millersville was paced by Elijah Obade’s 22 points and nine rebounds. Larry Grant added 17 points, while Mike Seibert chipped in 16 points and five boards. Anthony Coleman rounded out the Marauders in double figures with a dozen.
The Wildcats shot 49.2 percent for the game, compared to Millersville’s 55.6 percent effort. Wilmington made up for that behind the arc, as the ‘Cats connected on 11-of-25 from long range, while the Marauders hit just 4-of-14. The visitors also had the edge on the glass, out-rebounding the Wildcats by a 35-28 margin. Wilmington made up for those shortcomings, with an outstanding 21-8 turnover to assist ratio, while forcing 15 Millersville miscues and turning them into 20 points.
The ‘Cats return to the court on Saturday afternoon, when they host the NYIT Bears in a non-conference tilt beginning at 3:00 PM.