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Shai Henry’s Career Best Not Enough as Nyack Downs Wilmington Men’s Basketball, 74-71, in CACC Action

MBB: Nyack 74 - Wilmington 71

Saturday, January 25, 2014 - Nyack, N.Y.

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Junior Valentino Thompson secured his first double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds at Nyack on Saturday. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Althea Davidson.



Sophomore Shai Henry scored a career best 19 points on Saturday at Nyack, narrowly missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Althea Davidson.

A late game comeback fell short for the Wilmington University men’s basketball team at Nyack as the Warriors used the three-point shot and free throws down the stretch to defeat the Wildcats, 74-71, on Saturday afternoon at Bowman Gymnasium.

Junior Valentino Thompson secured his first double-double as a Wildcat (7-13, 3-8 CACC) while Shai Henry poured in a career best 19 points but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors (7-11, 5-6 CACC) converted 10-of-17 from beyond the arc to take the victory.

The visitors started hot, turning a one point lead into a 19-10 advantage in the opening minutes of the first half. The run started with back-to-back jumpers by Henry and senior Herb Dennis to push the Wildcat lead to 12-7. After Dennis hit another jumper, Henry finished the run with five straight points, hitting his only three-pointer of the game before laying one home for the nine point lead.

The Warriors worked the deficit down to a single point at the 7:11 mark of the first half following a pair of free-throws from Isaiah Roberts before taking their first lead since the opening moments of the contest with a jumper from Chris Hampton with 6:08 to play.

After the teams went on the see-saw for the next few possessions, Nyack used a 9-4 run to end the half, turning a 31-31 tied game into a 40-35 advantage at the halftime break.

Following the break, the Warriors took their largest lead of the games at 55-43 with 12:10 remaining in regulation. But the Wildcats were going down without a fight.

Trailing by 10, the Wildcats rattled off six of the next seven points to cut the deficit to five points with 6:10 to play. Still down five with 4:39 showing on the clock, a layup from Tyaire Ponzo-Meek put it at a three point contest, the closest it has been since the first half. Ponzo-Meek cut into the deficit even further with a pair of free-throws with 1:03 remaining, bringing the Wildcats to within two points at 69-67.

A layup and two free throws by the Warriors kept the Wildcats at bay in the final minute, taking a five point lead with 23 seconds to play. The Wildcats’ Shaq Monroe-Gaskins hit a three-pointer with 16 seconds on the board, but an offensive rebound on a missed free throw allowed the Warriors sealed the victory for the home team.

Thompson scored 11 points and added 10 rebounds to go along with five assists, a blocked shot, and a steal, shooting 4-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-6 from the foul line. Henry hit 9-of-14 from the floor for the game while narrowly missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Dennis was the final Wildcat in double figures, scoring 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting.

Hampton led the Warriors by hitting 5-of-8 three-pointers, finishing with 18 points, while Nyack shot 10-of-17 as a team from deep. Roberts finished with a game high 22 points for the home team.

After two games on the road, the Wildcats return to the WU Athletics Complex for a pair of games this week. Wilmington will host Chestnut Hill on Tuesday before welcoming Concordia to Newark for a doubleheader on Saturday.

Tuesday’s CACC doubleheader against Chestnut Hill will be a BLACKOUT! Wilmington’s Student Life department is encouraging all fans to wear black to the doubleheader and help cheer the Wildcats to victory over the Griffins. The women’s game will begin the doubleheader with a 6 p.m. tip.