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Defense Holds Strong On Final Possession to Take 63-62 Men’s Basketball Victory at Chestnut Hill

MBB: Wilmington 63 - Chestnut Hill 62

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - Philadelphia, Pa.

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Senior Herb Dennis scored a game high 15 points at Chestnut Hill and now sits 29 points away from 1,000 for his career. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.



Senior Shaq Monroe-Gaskins scored seven points, but hit both free-throws with 41 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats the win at Chestnut Hill. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.

Down eight late in the second half, the Wilmington University men’s basketball team stormed back to steal a victory at Chestnut Hill, 63-62, in both team’s Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener on Tuesday night at Sorgenti Arena.

The Wildcats (3-4 overall, 1-0 CACC) trailed 56-47 after the Griffins (1-5, 0-1 CACC) scored a layup with 5:35 remaining in regulation, but went on a 15-6 run to close out the game and take the first game of their CACC schedule.

Trailing by one with 41 seconds to play, senior Shaq Monroe-Gaskins sank a pair of free throws to take the lead for good after the Griffins missed their final two shots of the game and were called for traveling off an inbounds play with less than two seconds remaining.

Wilmington needed to battle from behind all night long, finding itself down by 11 points six minutes into the contest, 15-4. An 8-0 lead brought the Wildcats to within three at 17-14 moments later, however, after Herb Dennis hit a jumper with 10:53 left in the first half.

The Wildcats got to within as few as a single point after a three-pointer by Shai Henry with 5:53 to play, before settling on a four-point deficit at the halftime break.

Henry connected on a layup just over three minutes into the start of the second half to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the night at 38-33 with 16:52 remaining in regulation.

Now tied at 47-47 with 8:46 on the clock, the Griffins stormed out to a 56-47 lead before the visitors made their best and final comeback.

Valentino Thompson started the run with a pair of free throws before Monroe-Gaskins converted on a four-point play to pull within 56-52 with 4:32 to play. After a bucket by the Griffins, Dennis hit back-to-back three-pointers on consecutive possessions to put Wilmington ahead, 59-58, with 3:23 to play.

The teams traded buckets with the Griffins’ Taylor Trevisan giving the home team a 62-61 lead with 1:33 left in regulation. Thompson missed a three-pointer on the Wildcats next possession, but a turnover by the Griffins put the ball back in the hands of the visitors.

Monroe-Gaksins was fouled with 41 seconds left on the clock, send him to the line for the double-bonus. The senior hit both ends of the foul shots, giving the Wildcats the lead for good.

Dennis scored a game high 15 points, hitting three three-pointers while also dishing out a game high four assists. Ta’Vaune Griffin went 5-of-6 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line for 12 points, denying four shots and grabbing nine rebounds defensively as well. Henry also hit three three-pointers in the contest, finishing with 11 points.

Monroe-Gaskins finished with seven points off the bench for the Wildcats, hitting 4-of-7 from the foul line, but clutch in the end with under a minute to play.  

The Wildcats return home for the first of three straight home games when they welcome NYIT to the WU Athletics Complex on Saturday starting at 1 p.m.