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A Strong Defensive Effort Help the Wilmington Lady Wildcats Snap a 17-game Losing Streak with a 57-54 win at Nyack

WBB: Wilmington 57 - Nyack 54

Saturday, February 11, 2012 - Nyack, N.Y.

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Sophomore guard Lauren Brown



Senior forward Candace Phrance

A pair of free throws gave the Wilmington University women’s basketball team its first lead of the second half with 11:33 remaining and the Wildcats hung on for a 57-54 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory over Nyack to snap a 17-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon on the road.

Four players scored in double digits for the Wildcats (2-18, 1-14 CACC) but it was the effort on the defensive end of the court that helped lead to the team’s first conference win of the season. Nyack (1-19, 1-15 CACC) was held to a 28.8 shooting percentage from the floor for the game, including 10.5 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

Freshman Cari Callaway gave the game its fifth tie of the game with a jumper at 13:09 and a pair of free throws by Lauren Brown gave the Wildcats the lead for good with 11:33 to play in regulation. Starting with the Callaway jumper, the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to grab a 42-34 lead, and take command of the game.

The lead fluctuated for the next four-minute stanza of the game, as the Wildcats lead dwindled to as low as three points, but stayed as large at eight up to and past the five-minute mark. Kim Walton picked the pocket of Nyack’s Camille Nwosu and was fouled at the 4:24 mark. Walton knocked down one-of-two from the foul line, giving the Wildcats its biggest lead at nine with four minutes to play.

The Warriors didn’t quit however, as they went on a 7-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to two-points on a pair of foul shots by Brittany Mitchell with 25 seconds remaining. Candace DeShields hit one of her two free throws before Walton blocked a jumper that was recovered by Erin Moore to secure the lead. Moore went down the court and sank two more from the charity stripe to give the visitors a five-point lead.

Nyack’s Brianna McKellery didn’t give in so easily though, as she hit a jumper in the paint to make it a three-point game once again, and a turnover by Callaway gave the Warriors a shot to tie. But a three-pointer, the 19th attempt of the game for the Warriors, was off the mark at the buzzer, giving the Wildcats their first victory since a 59-57 win over Chaminade on November 24, 2011.

Walton led all Wildcats with 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting and a 3-for-4 effort from the line. Tianna Wagner finished with 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including 2-for-3 from downtown. Megan Fox and Callaway each chipped in 10 points in the win as well for the Wildcats. Candace Phrance pulled in a game and season-high 13 rebounds. As a team the Wildcats shot 17-for-22(77.3 percent) from the foul line for the game.

The Warriors had three players in double figures, as Mitchell, McKellery and Khamari Tellis all tallied a team-high 11 points. Courtney Peay pulled in a team-high 10 rebounds on the afternoon while Mitchell, Tellis and McKellery each chipped in with six each. Nyack shot 2-for-19 from beyond the arc and 14-for-20 from the foul line.

Wilmington returns home this week, as it welcomes CACC South Division leaders Holy Family to the Pratt Center on Tuesday, February 14. Tuesday also features the Wildcats breast cancer awareness day in an effort to raise awareness and support for the fight against cancer. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game and help support the charity with monetary donations. The women are scheduled to tip at 6 p.m.