Wilmington Men Can't Chestnut Hill, Lose 71-65
Chestnut Hill 71, Wilmington 65
Thursday, December 8, 2011 - New Castle, DE
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Wilmington University kept it close against conference rival Chestnut Hill College, but came up just short, as the ‘Cats fell 71-65 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) men’s basketball action on Thursday evening at the Pratt Center.
The Griffins came out firing on all cylinders, making their first two shots to take a 5-0 lead. The ‘Cats fought for the next four minutes to regain the lead and extended it to four points. The two teams exchanged the lead three more times to finally bring it to a 19-19 tie at the 8:00 minute mark. From there, the Griffins kept Wilmington on hold, raking up a seven point lead with 3:24 remaining, and went into the break up by four 30-26.
The Wildcats roared out of the gates to open the second half, fighting to regain their fourth and final lead of the game just five minutes into the period, 40-38. Chestnut Hill then went on an 8-0 spurt to take a 46-40 lead, and would not trail again for the rest of the game. The Wildcats never got closer than three down the stretch, and trailed by as many as 16 in the final three and a half minutes (45-61), as clutch free-throw shooting by the visitors sealed their victory.
The ‘Cats were led by sophomore point guard Herb Dennis, who netted 18 points, three assists, and two steals. Senior Matt King added 14 points and eight boards, while junior guard Isiah Mason chipped in with 12 points and five assists. Senior forward Corye Payton added to the stat sheet with a team high eight rebounds to go along with his eleven points.
Chestnut Hill was paced by Mark DiRugeris’ game-high 22 points and five assists. Alssene Sanitilus netted 15 points and pulled down four boards. Luke Dickson added 16 points, while Brandon Williams chipped in with nine, seven from the foul line. The lower post tandem of Dan Comas and Seamus Radtke, posted a combined 19 points 14 boards, while being a huge obstacle for the ‘Cats in the paint.
The Griffins shot just over 48 percent for the game, while Wilmington connected at a 44.8 percent clip. The visitors held a slight edge on the glass, out-rebounding the Wildcats by a slim 33-32 margin. Both teams had similar turnovers (WU 14, CHC 13), but the Griffins made the most of them, turning them into 14 points. The difference in the game came at the foul line, where Chestnut Hill hit 13-of-17 opportunities. Wilmington went to the line just nine times, and made five.
Following the game, Wilmington dropped to 0-2 in the CACC and 4-3 overall, while Chestnut Hill improved to 2-0 in the conference and 8-3 on the season. The Wildcats return to the court on Saturday afternoon, when the Deacons of Bloomfield College travel to the Pratt Center in a CACC matchup beginning at 3:00 PM.