'Cats Edged by Bloomfield, 57-55
Bloomfield 57, Wilmington 55
Saturday, December 10, 2011 - New Castle, DE
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The Wildcats of Wilmington University could not capitalize on late opportunities, and were edged by the visiting Deacons of Bloomfield College, 57-55 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) men’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Pratt Center.
Bloomfield (3-1 CACC/6-5) had the advantage early on, as the Deacons jumped out to a 13-6 lead over the game’s first seven minutes. Wilmington (0-3 CACC/4-4) rallied with a quick 7-0 spurt of their own to tie the game at 13 at the midway point of the period. The two teams would then remain within four points of each other, before a Corye Payton layup at the buzzer gave the ‘Cats a 26-24 lead heading into the locker room.
It was more of the same in the second half, as both teams remained within striking distance of each other. The Deacons led by as many as five (35-30), five minutes into the period, but Wilmington tied the game three different times in the game’s final 10 minutes. With the game tied at 39, Bloomfield went on a 7-2 run to take another five point lead, but Wilmington rattled off the next five courtesy of an Isiah Mason three pointer and a layup, and tied the contest at 48 with 4:34 left on the clock. After another tie at 50, the Deacons scored the next four, and were up 54-50 with 46 seconds remaining. The Wildcats’ Herb Dennis nailed two free throws to cut the deficit to just a basket with 29 seconds on the clock. A turnover by Bloomfield gave the ‘Cats the ball, but a trey from Matt King fell short and the Deacons grabbed the rebound. Ahmad Harris was fouled and made one of two free throws, and Bloomfield extended their lead to three. Again, the ‘Cats were not able to capitalize on the opportunity, and were forced to foul. The Deacons’ Marvin Lewis hit both, pushing the gap to five (57-55) with seven seconds left. A late three at the buzzer by Corye Payton put the ‘Cats within two (57-55), but time ran out on the hosts, sending them to their third straight defeat.
Wilmington was led by senior guard Corye Payton, who netted 15 points and pulled down five rebounds. Junior Isiah Mason added 10, while senior forward Matt King chipped in with eight points and seven boards. Junior Brandon Fox had eight points and five rebounds.
Bloomfield was paced by Matt Wafula’s 16-point, 11-rebound performance. Kevin Udo had 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out, while Terry Hicks netted 10 points as well. Ahmad Harris added seven points, three rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
The Wildcats held the edge shooting, as they connected at 40.7 percent, compared to Bloomfield, who shot 38.9 percent. The difference in the game came at the foul line. Although they didn’t shoot particularly well and made just 12-of-21 (57.1%), the Deacons were able to get to the line. Wilmington went to the line six times, and made just two (33%). Bloomfield out-rebounded the ‘Cats by a 44-32 margin, but the hosts did a better job in the assist/turnover ratio category, dishing out 13 and committing just 11, while the visitors had eight assists and made 16 turnovers.
Wilmington returns to action next Friday evening, when they travel to compete in the Division II Hoops Classic in Las Vegas. The ‘Cats take on the University of Indianapolis at 11:00 PM, and follow that with a game on Sunday against Central Oklahoma State University at 5:00 PM.