Second Half Comeback Falls Just Short for Wildcat Men’s Basketball, 78-76, at USciences
MBB: USciences 78 - Wilmington 76
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Philadelphia, Pa.
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Senior Isiah Mason tied a team high with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting at USciences
Junior Herb Dennis tied for a time high with 14 points, shooting 6-for-9 at USciences
Unable to grab a defensive rebound to gain possession and have a chance to win the game, the Wilmington University men’s basketball team’s late game charge fell short at the University of the Sciences, 78-76, on Wednesday night at Morgan Arena in the Wildcats’ Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener.
The Wildcats (0-6, 0-1 CACC), which were down as many as 14 points in the second half, used a 20-7 over the final 6:44 of regulation to cut the deficit to one but the Devils (2-6, 1-2 CACC) grabbed an offensive rebound off two miss free throws with seven seconds remaining to seal the deal.
Aided by the Devils shooting 3-for-10 from the free throw line during the final two minutes of game action, the Wildcats stormed back from a seven point deficit with 1:01 to play to get it as close as 77-76 with 11 seconds to play.
Junior Herb Dennis cut it to five points with a layup with 55 seconds left and after a Wildcat timeouts, the visitors got the ball back followed a pair of missed free throws from the Devils with 46 ticks showing on the scoreboard. After being fouled 11 seconds later, senior Isiah Mason sank two free throws to get the game to within one possession at 75-72.
USciences’ Alec McClure hit two free throws to push the lead back out to five, but Mason came back down the floor and hit a three pointer with 15 seconds remaining, bringing the Wildcats back within two at 77-75.
The Devils were unable to convert on another pair from the charity stripe, giving the Wildcats a chance with 14 seconds to play. Dennis was able to draw a foul with 11 seconds remaining, looking to knot the game at 77. After hitting the first to bring the game to within one, Dennis’ second attempt came off the rim to the right, and the Wildcats were forced to foul once more.
After the Devil’s William Kernan missed the first free throw, the Wildcats breathed a sigh of relief as they now had a chance to tie or go ahead with a three. Kernan missed the second free throw as well to keep the Devils ahead by only one at 77-76, but he was able to track down his own offensive rebound, forcing the Wildcats to foul once more.
USciences’ Tyrone Mann-Barnes again missed the front end, but sank the second free throw to make it a two point game and all the Wildcats could do was put up an off balanced shot from the left side as the buzzer sounded.
Mason, playing in his first game since suffering a concussion in a game against Millersville, led the Wildcats with 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists off the bench. Dennis also tallied 14 points, shooting 6-for-9 from the floor and added a team high four assists.
Junior Shaq Gaskins was the final Wildcat in double figures, scoring 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting from the floor off the bench. He also went 4-for-7 from the foul line.
Each team hit 18 free throws, but the Devils went to the line 34 times while the Wildcats only attempted 27 foul shots.
The Devil’s, led by Garret Kerr’s game high 29 points, shot 27-for-46 from the floor including a 6-for-13 performance from beyond the three-point arc while the Wildcats hit 28-for-51 from the floor for 54.9 percent but only 2-of-10 from three point territory.
Wilmington remains on the road for one more contest, as the Wildcats head to CACC North Division foe Post University on Saturday. The men will be the second game of a doubleheader, starting at 3 p.m.