Wilmington Men’s Basketball Completes 15 Point Comeback for First CACC Victory of Season over Caldwell, 83-78
Wilmington 83, Caldwell 78
Saturday, January 7, 2012 - New Castle, DE
Trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, and down 10 with 7:41 to play, the Wilmington University men’s basketball stormed back to win its first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference game of the year, 83-78, over Caldwell College at the George R. Newman Center on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Wilmington snapped a seven game losing streak and improved to 5-8 overall, 1-4 in the CACC. The loss dropped Caldwell to 8-6 overall, 3-4 in the CACC.
Brandon Fox led the late comeback charge, as the Wildcats used an 11-0 run to take the lead with 3:41 remaining. Trailing by 10, Fox hit a three-pointer to start the rally, and added two free throws to cut it to five with 4:58 to play. Herbert Dennis hit all four of his foul shots to trim it to a one point lead with 3:41, and Fox completed the rally on a layup from Jarvis Perry.
The Cougars weren’t done however; as Michael Balkovic stopped the 11-0 spurt with a layup of his own to put Caldwell back on top. Now tied at 76, Perry put home his own layup from Isiah Mason, and was fouled, completing the old fashioned three-point play at the 1:06 mark to give Wilmington the lead for good.
Caldwell’s Arthur Morrison cut the lead to one with a mid-range jumper with seven seconds remaining, but Dennis and Edward Freeman hit all four of the team’s foul shots to complete the comeback and ice the game.
The Wildcats made 17-of-26 (65.4 percent) from the floor in the second period and held a 31-27 edge on the glass, including a 14-7 rebounding advantage after halftime. The ‘Cats shot 40 percent (10-of-25) form beyond the arc, topping the Cougars from long range (34.8 percent, 8-of-23). Wilmington also reached the charity stripe 21 times, missing only two for the afternoon. Caldwell went 12-for-16 from the foul line.
Fox led all scorers with 29 points, shooting an outstanding 11-15 from the floor. He made three of his four three point efforts, none bigger than the one that sparked the comeback. Fox also was a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. Corey Payton wasn’t far behind his teammate, scoring 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting. Payton was also perfect from the foul line, going 4-for-4. Freeman also tallied double digits for the visitors, scoring 12 points off the bench, going 2-for-3 from downtown. Fox and Payton also led the rebounding effort, each collecting seven boards.
Caldwell shot 60.7 percent from the field in the second half, and 52.7 percent for the game, but it wasn’t enough as the Cougars dropped their second game by five points or less on the season. Morrison tallied 21 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Nikola Otovic also scored 21 points to go with five assists.
The Wildcats will have a chance at revenge this week, as they take to the road once again to play Washington Adventist on Tuesday, January 10. Wilmington dropped a 72-70 decision at the buzzer to Washington Adventist on December 29 at home. The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. tip.