St. Thomas Aquinas Stuns Wilmington Men’s Basketball with 78-77 Last Second Victory
MBB: St. Thomas Aquinas 78 - Wilmington 77
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - Sparkill, N.Y.
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Junior Rashaun Rasheed (20) led the Wildcats with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line at St. Thomas Aquinas. Copyright Wilmington University. All rights reserved
A circus flip and a foul with three seconds remaining allowed St. Thomas Aquinas to comeback and shock the Wilmington University men’s basketball team 78-77, on Tuesday night inside Aquinas Hall.
The Wildcats (0-3 overall) took the lead with 3:20 remaining in the first half and grabbed as large as a nine point lead on multiple occasions, the latest with 4:14 to play in regulation. But that didn’t hinder the comeback mentality of the Spartans (1-1 overall), as they fought back to eventually tie the match with three seconds remaining before the ensuing foul shot went through for the final point of the game.
Junior Rashaun Rasheed paced the Wildcats with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the floor, adding a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line. Senior Herb Dennis collected 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor, including 3-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc. Freshman Tyaire Ponzo-Meek scored 13 points off the bench on 4-of-7 from the floor, adding 5-of-6 from the foul line. Junior Valentino Thompson was the final Wildcat in double digits with 12 points, shooing 4-of-8 from the floor.
Despite shooting 26-of-54 for 48.1 percent from the floor as a team, it was troubles from the foul line down the stretch that really hurt the Wildcats at St. Thomas Aquinas. In the second half alone, the Wildcats shot 17-of-31 from the free throw stripe, including 7-of-15 inside the final five minutes of game play.
Rasheed put the Wildcats up 71-62 with a lay-up and a foul, converting the free-throw with 4:14 remaining in the contest. But an 8-2 run by the Spartans erased the deficit and got STAC to within two at 72-70 with 2:35 to play.
The Wildcats continued to keep the Spartans at an arms’ reach for the next minute and a half, as Thompson sank a pair of free throws with 1:01 to play to give the visitors a 75-71 lead. A jumper by the Spartans cut the lead to two with 25 seconds remaining before Prophet Kates was only able to make one of two from the foul line after the foul on the inbounds play.
Another layup brought the Spartans to within one with 14 seconds to play before Thompson could only hit 1-of-2 again from the line. Now with the ball inside 10 seconds, STAC’s Marcus Henderson split a double team at midcourt before getting into the paint and put up a wild over the should shot as he was bodied by Kates. The ball found the bottom of the net as Henderson was fouled.
After a timeout by the Wildcats, Henderson cooley stepped to the line and hit the free-throw to complete the three-point play and put the home team in front. The ensuing inbounds play was thrown away as the Spartans completed the comeback, 78-77.
Ta’Vaune Griffin scored eight points and led the Wildcats with eight rebounds off the bench while Kates tallied nine more off the bench for the Wildcats.
Wilmington comes home to the WU Athletics Complex for its 2013-14 home opener in its next contest. The Wildcats square off against Millersville on Thursday in a game slated to start at 7 p.m.