Philadelphia Holds Off Wilmington Men’s Basketball, 90-85, in CACC Shootout
MBB: Philadelphia 90 - Wilmington 85
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - Newark, Del.
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Senior Herb Dennis scored a game high 27 points and a team high five assists against Philadelphia on Wednesday night. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Junior Valentino Thompson shot 11-of-14 from the floor to score 26 points on Wednesday night against Philadelphia. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
At last check, the size of the rims at the WU Athletics Complex are regulation size, but the Wilmington University and Philadelphia University men’s basketball teams could have proved otherwise on Wednesday night by putting on a shooting show in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contest.
Philadelphia came out on top, 90-85, shooting 53.3 percent from the floor, holding off a second half run by Wilmington who shot 52.2 percent from the floor for the game.
The Rams (11-4, 5-1 CACC) rarely missed in the first half, going 20-of-30 from the floor, but more impressively shooting 9-of-13 from beyond the three-point arc, some of which were three feet behind the line.
In a tail of two halves, the Wildcats (6-9, 2-4 CACC) shot 20-of-33 from the floor in the second half, but the 13 points halftime deficit was too much to overcome, despite a strong run down the stretch to get as close as few as four points.
The only subpar performances by the teams tonight came from the foul line, as the Rams hit 15-of-20 as compared to the Wildcats 8-of-15 form the charity stripe.
Leading the percentage race for the Wildcats was Valentino Thompson who went 11-of-14 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc, and adding 2-of-3 from the foul line for 26 points. He also finished tied for the team high with six rebounds. Herb Dennis finished with a game high 27 points, shooting 11-for-20 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc. Shaq Monroe-Gaskins was the final Wildcat in double digits, scoring 11 off the bench.
The hot shooting early on gave the Rams a double digit lead with 12:23 to play in the first half. The Wildcats could only slim the margin to as few as six for the remainder of the first stanza, as the Rams always seemed to respond to a Wildcats’ mini-run with a three-pointer at the other end. A turnover and a dunk by the Rams’ Peter Alexis in the final seconds capped the half for the visitors, giving them a 51-38 lead at the break.
Philadelphia went up by as many as 16 points in the second half, prior to the Wildcats making their run. They cut the deficit to 10 with 3:04 to play on Ta’Vaune Griffin’s second put-back slam of the game, sparking the late game comeback. Dennis hit a three-pointer from the top of the arc with 1:21 to play to bring the score to 84-77 before another three-pointer by Thompson on the left wing cut the deficit to 85-81 with 44 seconds to play.
But that would be as close as the Wildcats would get as the Rams hit 6-of-8 from the foul line in the final minute of play.
The Rams finished with four players in double figures, led by Derek Johnson’s 26. Johnson hit 5-of-8 from three-point territory, followed by Nick Schlitzer’s 4-of-7. Schlitzer finished with 24 points while Peter Alexis added 21 points and a game high eight rebounds. Andre Gibbs finished with 13 points.
The Wildcats remain in CACC play for the rest of the 2013-14 campaign, playing again on Saturday. The team stays close as it heads to in-state rival Goldey-Beacom for another CACC doubleheader. The men follow the women’s game with an anticipated start time of 3 p.m.