Brandon Fox’s Block Secures Men’s Basketball Comeback over Philadelphia, 65-63, on Senior Day
MBB: Wilmington 85 - Philadelphia 83
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - Newark, Del.
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The four seniors stand with their families and head coach Mike Gallagher before the tip against Philadelphia. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Each senior received a game action photo and bag full of goodies as their senior gift. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
The four seniors (Brandon Fox, ANdrew Corrigan, James Pee and Isiah Mason) before their game against Philadelphia. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Down by as many as 13 points in the second half, the Wilmington University men’s basketball team came roaring back to steal a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory away from Philadelphia, 65-63, aided by a last second block at the rim on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
Playing in his final game as a Wildcat (6-19, 6-11 CACC), Brandon Fox rejected a wide open Nick Schlitzer who corralled a loose ball in the waning seconds of the game and headed to the basket. Looking as though he was going to tie the game and send it to overtime, Schlitzer drove the open lane but was met at the rim by Fox who sent the ball flying out of bounce as the final horn sounded.
Fox paced the Wildcats with a team high 15 points, collecting a double-double by grabbing 10 rebounds as well. Shaq Gaskins came off the bench and scored in double digits for the second straight game, tallying 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor. Herb Dennis was the only other Wildcat to reach double-digits, scoring 11 points while dishing out a game high five assists.
The three-pointer was going down for the Wildcats, as the team went 0-for-10 from beyond the arc in the second half, finishing the game going 1-of-16. So the Wildcats moved the ball inside, tightened up the defense and came all the way back from a nine point halftime deficit and 13 points with 17:22 left in regulation.
The comeback started slowly for the Wildcats, still finding themselves down 10 with 15:14 to play. Senior Andrew Corrigan cut it to eight points before a defensive rebound by Shai Henry turned into a fast break opportunity for Dennis and Gaskins. Dennis left the ball for Gaskins who went up and got fouled, but converted the bucket to head to the line for a foul shot.
Now down three at 55-52, Gaskins this time collected his own rebound and took it the length of the court, hitting the layup while again getting fouled in the act. He would unfortunately miss both ends of each and-ones, but helped swing the momentum in the Wildcats’ direction.
Senior Isiah Mason earned a steal at the defensive end of the court and pushed the ball up to Gaskin who was again cutting to the bucket, laying it home for another fast-break conversion, this time giving the home team the lead at 56-55 with 7:13 to play.
Wilmington pushed the lead to as large as three before the Rams fought back down the stretch. A pair of free-throws from Schlitzer would tie the game at 59 before the Rams’ Jim Connolly gave the visitors the lead with a layup at the 2:53 mark of the second half.
Now tied, Connolly again gave the Rams the lead with two free-throws following an intentional foul called on Brandon Fox trying to fight through a screen in the paint. But the Rams missed a jumper on their additional possession and Mason came through with a leaner at the other end to again tie the game at 63-63 with only 48 seconds to play.
Philadelphia wound the clock down to within 20 seconds before getting a shot off, but Andre Gibbs’ jumper was off the mark, falling into the arms of Mason. Dennis got the ball and instead of holding for the last shot, took off down the floor and into the paint, getting fouled as his layup rimmed out.
Dennis converted both free throws with 13 seconds to play, leaving the Rams with a chance to tie, or win the game with a three-pointer.
After a timeout and an inbounds play from the sidelines, the ball popped loose as several Wildcats dove on the floor trying to corral it. The ball squirted to Schlitzer who had a lane to the bucket, but Fox jumped back up off the ground to deny the game-tying attempt at the rim, having the horn blow before the ball touched out of bounds.
Peter Alexi paced the Rams with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Nick Christian also gathered a double-double with 10 points and a game high 12 rebounds. Gibbs and Connolly each finished with 13 points. The Wildcats’ bench outscored the Rams’ bench 23-0 for the game.
The win wrapped up the careers of four Wildcats, as Fox, Corrigan, Mason, and James Pee played in their final game at the WU Athletics Complex. In addition to Fox’s 15, Mason scored nine points, Corrigan scored four points, and Pee chipped in with three points.