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Daniel Lauletta, Coordinator of Sports Info
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Second Half Surge Falls Short for Wilmington Men’s Basketball, 75-63, Against USciences

MBB: USciences 75 - Wilmington 63

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - Newark, Del.

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Senior Shaq Monroe-Gaskins scored a career high 21 points, hitting three three-pointers against USciences on Wednesday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Mark Tetreault.



Junior Valentino Thompson scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor against USciences on Wednesday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Mark Tetreault.

A second half comeback fell short as the Wilmington University men’s basketball team ran out of steam after trailing by as many as 25 points against the University of the Sciences on Wednesday in the WU Athletics Complex.

The Wildcats fell 75-63 in the first of two Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference matchups with the Devils.

Trailing by as many as 25 points with 17:36 remaining in regulation, the Wildcats put on the jets but couldn’t break the double digit barrier, getting as close as 10 point on multiple occasions. It looked as though the Wildcats were bound to make a game of it late, getting to within 59-49 with 5:54 remaining on the clock.

The Devils sprinted out to a 17-6 lead in the first eight minutes, turning a 4-3 Wilmington advantage into a double-digit lead. The first half lead remained in the double-digits from the 8:45 mark and on, growing to as large as 21 after a jumper by Garret Kerr with 2:52 to play.

Back-to-back buckets by Valentino Thompson and Shaq Monroe-Gaskins brought it down to 17 point deficit for the Wildcats, but another 4-0 run gave the Devils a 39-18 lead at the break.

Scoring the first four points in the first half allowed the Devils to take their biggest lead of the game at 43-18 with 17:36 remaining in regulation. That is when the Wildcats went on their run to put a scare into the Devils down the stretch.

A quick 7-0 run with buckets by Ta’Vaune Griffin and Thompson, followed by a three-pointer by Tyaire Ponzo-Meek brought the deficit to 18 points. The Wildcats continued to cut into the deficit through the next eight minutes with Monroe-Gaskins layup following a steal brought the team to 59-49 with 5:54 left on the board.

The Wildcats had a pair of opportunities to get within single-digits, but a missed foul shot and a few missed jumpers never allowed the Wildcats to get closer than 10.

Monroe-Gaskins led the Wildcats with a career high 21 points, hitting 3-of-4 from three-point territory. Thompson was the only other Wildcat to reach double digits with 16 points, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor. Griffin led the team with nine rebounds while also denying four shot attempts.

The Devils shot 76.2 percent from the floor (16-of-21) in the first half, hitting both three-pointers to take the commanding lead. They came back to reality in the second half, shooting 9-of-19 for 47.5 percent from the floor. They maintained their lead by hitting 18-of-26 from the foul line in the second 20 minutes. USciences shot 62.5 percent from the floor for the game, adding 23-of-33 from the line.

The Wildcats remain at home for another CACC contest, as they welcome Post to the WU Athletics Complex on Saturday. The CACC doubleheader will begin with the women’s game at 1, followed by the men’s game at 3 p.m.