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Wildcats Downed in Final Two Seconds, 66-64, at USciences to Close out 2011-12 Season

MBB: Wilmington 64 - USciences 66

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - Philadelphia, Pa.

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Senior Corye Payton



Junior James Pee

Six ties and 14 lead changes accompanied a back and forth contest, but the final lead change didn’t go the Wilmington University men’s basketball team’s way as the Wildcats dropped its final contest of the 2011-12 season to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference foe University of the Sciences, 66-64, at the Morgan Arena on Tuesday night.

Wilmington (10-16, 6-11 CACC) had a three-pointer at the buzzer but Herbert Dennis’ effort was off the mark as USciences (5-19, 3-13 CACC) broke the final tie on a jumper by Garret Kerr with two seconds remaining to win the thriller.

The Wildcats held onto a four-point lead with 4:42 left to play in regulation after Corye Payton put home a lay in to go up 58-62. But the Devils stormed back, starting with a pair of free throws by Henry Messinger. Kerr stepped to the line on the Devils next possession and sank one of two foul shots to make it a one point contest.

Messinger stepped up again and picked the pocket of Jarvis Perry, and got fouled by James Pee to head to the line once again. Messinger knocked down the front end of the two free throws to tie the game for the fifth time on the night. Pee responded with a jumper of his own, giving the ‘Cats the 64-64 advantage with 1:51 to play.

But back came Messinger once again, as he hit a jumper with 90 seconds left to play in regulation, marking the sixth tie of the game, fifth of the second half alone.

After Dennis missed a three pointer with 44 seconds on the clock, Isiah Mason came up with a timely steal off the Devil’s Patrick Connaghan, but missed the ensuing layup that would have given the ‘Cats a two point lead with 34 seconds on the clock.

Following a team timeout by USciences, the Devils let the clock run down to set up for what should have been the final shot of the game. Kerr, a freshman, stepped up and knocked down the game winner, leaving two seconds on the clock.

Wilmington head coach Mike Gallagher called a timeout to draw up his home run play, but to no avail as Dennis’ three was off the mark at the buzzer.

Payton finished with a game-high 22 points, collecting at least 20 points in his third straight contest and 12th time this season. He shot 10-for-19 on the night, but only hit 1-of-8 from three-point territory. Pee tallied 11 points off the bench, hitting 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. Ed Freeman also collected double-figures as he picked up 10 points on the night. Pee and Perry led the Wildcats on the boards, each collecting five rebounds.

Kerr picked up his 20th consecutive double-double, scoring a team-high 21 points and a game-high 19 boards in the win. Henry Messinger added 18 points for the Devils while Myer Messinger chipped in with 14 points. Connaghan also helped Kerr on the glass, collecting 10 rebounds.

The Wildcats were outshot 50 to 25.8 percent, but hit five more three-pointers than the Devils. Overall, the Wildcats went 7-for-26 from three-point territory for a 26.9 percentage.