Slow Start Haunts Wilmington Men’s Basketball in Home Opener, Falls to Kutztown 92-68
MBB: Kutztown 92 - Wilmington 68
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - Newark, Del.
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Senior James Pee scored 13 points and added seven board and three assists against Kutztown
Herbert Dennis led the Wildcats with 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting (4-for-6 from three) against Kutztown
Rashaun Rasheed added 11 points and three board off the bench for the Wildcats, shooting 5-for-5 from the floor against Kutztown
A slow start loomed large for the Wilmington University men’s basketball team in its 2012-13 home opener, playing its first game in the new WU Athletics Complex, dropping a 92-68 decision to nonconference foe Kutztown on Wednesday night.
The visitors came out on fire scoring the first six points of the game and opening up a 14-2 lead before the Wildcats (0-3) knew what hit them. Kutztown (1-2) extended the lead to as many as 25 in the first half.
Junior guard Herb Dennis led the Wildcats with seven points in the first half while freshman Tajee Almon scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting and added three rebounds off the bench. But it was the Golden Bear’s Tracy Peal who led all scorers with 13 in the opening 20 minutes to give the visitors a 45-23 lead heading into the locker rooms.
With 17:31 remaining in the second half and Kutztown leading 49-25, the Wildcats went on a 13-4 run to close the gap to as little at 15. Pee started the run with a three pointer before Rashaun Rasheed cut it to 20 with a layup with 15:58 to play. A layup and a pair of free throws from Dennis made it 53-36 before two more foul shots from Shai Henry closed the gap to 53-38 with 14:43 to play.
After Kutztown extended the lead back out to 19, a Dennis three-pointer again cut the lead to 15 with 12:55 to play, and on the next trip down the floor Rasheed hit a jumper to again reduce the lead to 15 with 12:35 left. Isiah Mason made one last run at it, hitting a three with 10:24 to play to bring it to 66-51, but Kutztown answered every run the Wildcats put together. The 15 points would be as close as the Wildcats would get in the contest.
Dennis led Wilmington with 20 points and four assists, pacing four Wildcats who reached double digits on the night. Pee finished with 13 points, hitting three from beyond the arc and grabbing seven rebounds. Rasheed finished with 11 points on 5-for-5 shooting and Almon added 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting.
But the Wildcats only shot 38.2 percent from the floor as a team, including a 9-for-25 performance from beyond the three-point line, turning it on in the second half, shooting 7-for-12 from three in the second half. Kutztown shot 53 percent (35-for-66) from the floor and 46.2 percent (6-for-13) from three-point land for the game.
The Golden Bears also had four players in double figures, led by Peal and Kenny Wilson who each added 23 points. Tyler Brooks scored 14 points while Micah Fraction poured in 11 more.
The Wildcats will continue playing inside the PSAC for the next two contests, as they head to Millersville for their next game on Saturday. The game against the Marauders is the second of a men’s and women’s doubleheader and slated for a 3 p.m. start.