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Daniel Lauletta, Coordinator of Sports Info
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Shooting Woes Haunt Wilmington Men’s Basketball in 65-58 Setback to Philadelphia

MBB: Wilmington 58 - Philadelphia 65

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - New Castle, DE

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Senior guard Corye Payton

The long-range shots weren’t falling in the second half for the Wilmington University men’s basketball team, as the Wildcats dropped a pivotal Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference matchup against Philadelphia, 65-58, on Tuesday night at the Pratt Center.

The Wildcats (7-12, 3-7 CACC) shot 11-for-27 in the second half (40 percent) but missed eight of 10 shots from three-point territory in a come from behind effort. Philadelphia (13-6, 8-2 CACC) remained atop the CACC South Division leaderboard with the win.

Trailing by 11 on three different occasions in the first half, the Wildcats used a 15-8 run over the final 8:38 to cut it to a four point deficit heading into the halftime break.

James Pee got the rally started with a three-pointer off the bench at the 7:43 mark. After a Ram’s basket, Corye Payton came down the floor and hit another three-pointer, making it a seven point contest with 6:44 remaining in the half. Matt King scored the Wildcats’ next four points before Brandon Fox had the final tally of the half with a layup off a feed from Herbert Dennis. The Wildcats were down 33-29 heading into the locker rooms.

The Wildcats came out of the break with passion, as Payton hit a jumper to make it a two point game a mere five seconds into the half. After the Rams hit one out of two from the foul line, Jarvis Perry hooked up with Payton on the back door lob, as Payton slammed it home to make it a one point game.

The next time down the floor, Fox grabbed an offensive rebound and put back the lay in to give the Wildcats the lead, 35-34, with 18:28 to play in regulation. But back came the Rams, as Philadelphia’s Nick Christian hit a three 12 seconds later to retake the lead. The Rams would hold the lead for the rest of the game.

The lead grew to as many as nine after back-to-back three-pointers by the Rams, as the Wildcats went cold from the floor. The three point deficit would be the closest the home squad would get for the remainder of the game. Philadelphia would hit 5-of-7 free throws in the final minute of play.

Payton led all scorers with 20 points, as Fox added 15 and a team high eight rebounds. King also chipped in with 10 points and six boards. Dennis dished out seven assists without committing a turnover in the game. The Wildcats shot 22-for-56 (39.3%) for the game, including 7-for-21 from beyond the arc.

The Rams had four of their starters in double-figures, led by Christian and center Temi Adebayo’s 18 points each. Jim Connolly added 11 points while Corey Francisco finished with 10. All of the scoring came from the starters for head coach Herb Magee, as Nick Schiltzer rounded out the scoring with eight points. Francisco had a game high 10 rebounds. As a team, the Rams shot 24-for-53 (45.3%) from the floor including 8-for-18 from three-point territory.

The Wildcats will have a shot at redemption on Saturday, as they return to the Pratt Center for a CACC cross division showdown with Felician. The game is slated for a 3 p.m. start.