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Lincoln Escapes as Wilmington’s Last Minute Comeback Falls Just Short, 80-75, in Hard Fought Men’s Basketball Action

MBB: Lincoln (Pa.) 80 - Wilmington 75

Saturday, December 15, 2012 - Newark, Del.

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James Pee attempts one of his five three-pointers in the Wildcats loss against Lincoln on Saturday. Pee went for 13 points. Copyright Wilmington University. All rights reserved



Brandon Fox goes strong to the baskt in the first half against Lincoln on Saturday. He led all scorers with 19 points. Copyright Wilmington University. All rights reserved



Herb Dennis passed out a game high seven assists while also scoring 15 points on Saturday against Lincoln. Copyright Wilmington University. All rights reserved

The Wilmington University men’s basketball team went into the halftime break with the lead but could not hold the advantage before falling to Lincoln University, 80-75, on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.

Lincoln (7-1 overall) outscored the Wildcats (2-9 overall) 46-39 in the second half but nearly let a 10 points lead with 1:47 remaining in the contest slip away as the home team got within one point after a three-pointer from Isiah Mason.

The Lions took advantage of their 28 attempts from the foul line in the game, hitting 22 of them, but more importantly going 15-of-16 from the charity stripe in the second half. Wilmington also shot well from the foul line, going 19-for-24 from the line but only went 14-for-18 during the second stanza.

The teams were on the seesaw halfway through the first half, as both squads were trading baskets in the hard fought game. The Lions answered every big bucket from the Wildcats in the first half, as James Pee hit a three-pointer to break the mold and put the home team up two at 29-27 with 2:57 remaining. But the Lions Richard Glover responded with a jumper to tie the game on their next possession before Herb Dennis slashed through the lane for a layup to regain the two-point lead. Once again, the Lions responded as Jai Kellman hit a three-pointer to take the lead back over, putting the game on a seesaw again.

After the teams traded baskets once more, Tajee Almon hit a turnaround jumper off the right block to give the Wildcats the lead at 35-34 and capped the scoring by going 1-for-2 from the foul line with 54 seconds to play. The Wildcats went into the locker room with a 36-34 lead.

The Wildcats extended the lead to as many as four points in the second half before the Lions started to make their comeback. A pair of free throws from Lincoln’s Will Cole gave the Lions a one point lead at 44-43 with 13:23 showing on the scoreboard. It was a lead the visitors would not relinquish.

Wilmington kept the deficit to within five points before a mini 5-0 run, capped by three foul shots from Derrick Washington, pushed the Lions’ lead to its biggest of the game at 65-55 with 6:08 to play.

Still with the lead at 10 and only 1:47 left in the game, the Wildcats made one last push to get back into the ballgame, looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Mason started the run by gathering a loose ball under the basket and quickly releasing the ball while getting fouled, converting the three-point play to get it to seven with 1:36 on the clock. The Wildcats forced a turnover by the Lions and came back down the court, where Mason was sent to the line once again, this time hitting 1-of-2 to cut it to a six point game.

Another Lion turnover gave the Wildcats the ball back, but before they could get into their offense, the Lincoln bench was whistled for a technical foul, putting Dennis on the to sink a pair of free throws. On the ensuing possession, Mason sank a three-pointer from the right wing to bring the score to 74-73 with only 56 seconds remaining.

Washington hit a jumper just outside the lane for the Lions with 26 seconds to play to push the lead back out to three points. Looking to tie the game, Dennis found Shai Henry open for three on the right side, but his shot fell short, hitting the front of the rim and bounced out, allowing the Lions to grab the rebound. Washington hit all four of the free throws in the final 15 seconds, icing the game.

Senior Brandon Fox led all scorers with 19 points, going 6-for-13 from the floor and adding 6-for-8 performance from the foul line. Dennis finished with 15 points, shooting 4-for-7 from the floor and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe. Pee also ended in double figures, scoring 13 points, hitting two from beyond the three-point arc and all three of his foul shots. Fox also led the Wildcats with eight rebounds, four on the offensive glass.

Washington went 9-for-9 from the foul line in the second half, scoring all 16 of his points in the second half. Cole also tallied 16 points and grabbed a game high 10 rebounds for a double-double for the Lions.

Wilmington has a 15 day break before its next action, getting a full two weeks off from competition over the holiday break. The Wildcats return to action to play their third straight home game on December 30, welcoming Southern New Hampshire to Newark for a 2 p.m. tip.