Wilmington Surrenders Halftime Lead, Falls to CACC South Leading Philadelphia, 68-60, on the Road
MBB: Philadelphia 68 - Wilmington 60
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - Philadelphia, Pa.
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Senior Isiah Mason came off the bench to score 10 points, hitting a pair of three-pointer at Philadelphia. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Junior Herb Dennis led the Wildcats with 16 points, going a perfect 6-of-6 from he foul line at Philadelphia. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Brittany Biddle.
The floor opened up in the second half after a tightly contested opening 20 minutes, allowing Philadelphia to nearly double its first half scoring and come away with a 68-60 men’s basketball Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory over Wilmington University in the Gallagher Center on Tuesday night.
Wilmington’s Shai Henry hit a jumper with 1:07 left in the first half to give the Wildcats (4-18, 4-10 CACC) a one point lead heading into the halftime break. Philadelphia (14-7, 9-3 CACC) came out and shot 53.6 percent in the second frame, taking the lead for good only 1:02 into the second period.
Junior Herb Dennis scored eight points on 4-of-7 shooting to lead the Wildcats to a 26-25 lead at the break, but the Rams responded with a 43-34 advantage in the second half to take the “must-win” game from the Wildcats.
Dennis led all Wildcats with a team high 16 points, shooting 5-for-14 from the floor while adding a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line. Brandon Fox added 13 points on 5-of-13 shooting while Isiah Mason came off the bench to score 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Henry recorded a game high 10 rebounds, five of which came on the offensive glass.
Using only a seven man rotation, Philadelphia received double digit outputs from four players, getting a game high 18 from Nick Schlitzer. Andre Gibbs shot 7-of-11 to score 16 points while Jim Connoly scored 14 points. Peter Alexis contributed 11 points and tied for the team high with eight rebounds. Philadelphia shot 24-for-50 from the floor, including 8-for-20 from three-point territory for the game.
After falling behind early in the first half, the Wildcats battled back to take as large as a six point lead in the opening 20 minutes. Trailing 9-8, the Wildcats received three straight jumpers from Fox, Henry and Mason to lead 14-9 with 10:27 remaining in the half. Still leading 16-12, Dennis drove to the basket for a layup to give the visitors their largest lead of the night with 7:57 before the half.
Following a jumper from Fox to open the scoring in the second stanza to put the Wildcats ahead 28-25, the Rams scored seven straight points, taking the lead on a Gibbs three-pointer, to swing the momentum in favor of the home team.
An 11-2 run turned a 37-35 Philadelphia lead into an 11 point advantage with 12:03 to play before the Rams took as large as a 13 point lead on multiple occasions during the rest of regulation.
Down 64-51 with two minutes to play, the Wildcats used a quick 7-1 spurt to get within seven point with 24 seconds remaining, capped by a three-pointer from Mason. The Wildcats again cut the deficit to seven with a pair from the charity stripe by Dennis, but it was too little too late as Wilmington would not score again in the final 16 seconds.
The Wildcats return home on Saturday for the first time since the beginning of the month when they host Caldwell College in another CACC matchup. Wilmington will be hosting its annual Breast Cancer Awareness contest on Saturday and will be wearing pink warmup shirts to help the cause. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to help spread awareness with any monetary donations going to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.
The men cap the CACC doubleheader with the opening whistle at approximately 3 p.m.