Wilmington Men Rally to Down STAC, 81-69
Wilmington 81, STAC 69
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - New Castle, DE
Wilmington University overcame a twelve-point first half deficit to down the visiting Spartans of St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC), 81-69 in non-conference men’s basketball action on Wednesday evening at the Pratt Center.
It was all Spartans to start the game, as the visitors jumped out to a 20-8 lead over the game’s first eight minutes. STAC (2-4) held the advantage the entire first half, allowing Wilmington (4-1) to get within a basket (25-23) when the ‘Cats staged an 8-0 run. The Spartans responded with a quick 7-0 spurt of their own, pulling away slowly and headed into the break holding a 38-33 lead.
The STAC lead grew to nine (42-33) to start the second half, before the Wildcat comeback started. Trailing by three (46-43) with just over 15 minutes remaining, Wilmington ran off a quick 8-0 run and went ahead 51-46 with 12 minutes left. The Spartans hung close, and were within one (53-52), but the ‘Cats then used a 14-2 spurt over the next five minutes, capped by four three pointers, and pulled ahead, 67-54 with 4:33 left on the clock. STAC would not get closer than seven the rest of the way, and Wilmington held on for the 12-point victory, their fourth consecutive win.
The Wildcats were led by senior swingman Corye Payton, who posted 20 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Isiah Mason added 16, while sophomore Herb Dennis had 11 points. Fellow sophomore Jarvis Perry had six points and eight rebounds, while senior Matt King had nine points.
STAC was led by Justin Brown’s 20 points. Omar Kellman added nine points and 10 rebounds, while James Ockimey and Ronnie Bethea each had nine points as well.
Wilmington had a slim edge in shooting, connecting at 49.1 percent while STAC shot 47.3 percent from the floor. The difference in the game proved to be at the foul line, where the ‘Cats hit 20-of-22 and the Spartans were a dismal 10-of-20. The Wildcats held a slight advantage in rebounds, 35-30 and the two teams combined for 40 turnovers.
The ‘Cats are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to take on the Rams of Philadelphia University. The game begins at 3:00 PM, and it marks their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener.