Coordinator of Sports Info, Athletics
320 DuPont Highway
New Castle, DE 19720
Late Run Falls Short for Wilmington Men’s Basketball as West Chester Pulls Away Late, Wins 83-72
MBB: West Chester 83 - Wilmington 72
The Wilmington University men’s basketball turned an 11 points halftime deficit into a two-point ball game as late as 4:27 left on the scoreboard, but West Chester pulled away late to put away the Wildcats, 83-72, in nonconference action on Tuesday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
Down by as many as 15 late in the first half and 13 after the opening possession of the second half, the Wildcats (0-5 overall) roared back to get within five point at the 10:47 mark and remain within an arms’ reach of the Rams (1-2 overall) until the final two minutes of the contest.
The Wildcats shot a season’s best 43.6 percent from the floor for the game, making 24-of-55 shots. They also hit a season’s best 38.9 percent from beyond the three-point arc, hitting 7-of-18 from down town. They second half comeback was capable after the home team shot 15-for-26 (57.7 percent) form the floor in the second stanza, including a 3-for-7 mark from three-point land and 9-for-12 from the foul line.
Finding themselves down 12 at 52-40 at the 13:30 mark of the second half, the Wildcats cut into the lead in less than two minutes. Shaq Gaskins hit a pair of free throws to start the rally before Herb Dennis hit one of his three three-pointers on the next possession to get it to within seven at the 12:49 mark. On their next trip down the floor, senior Brandon Fox laid one home to push it to 52-47 with 11:53 to play, and make it as close as it’s been since the 8:39 mark of the first half.
The score seesawed between three and five for the next six minutes before a high arcing three-pointer from big-man Fox finally cut the Rams’ lead to two at 62-60 with 5:36 remaining in regulation. West Chester raised the lead back to four before James Pee hit a jumper from the left side with 4:27 to play to make it 64-62, but that would be the closest the Wildcats would get as the home team ran out of gas.
Pressing the Rams in the back court and trying to force the action and get turnovers, the court opened up for the visitors as they quickly turned the two point lead into a double-digit advantage with 1:52 to play.
Fox again led the Wildcats with 17 points off the bench, adding five rebounds and two blocks in 26 minutes. He shot 6-for-9 from the floor including two big three-pointers in the Wildcats comeback. Fellow big man Rashaun Rasheed added a career high 15 points with a 6-for-10 performance from the floor.
Junior point guard Herb Dennis was the third Wildcat in double figures, adding 13 points on 3-for-9 shooting and 4-or-5 from the foul line. He also passed out four assists, along with Dusan Kojic, to lead the team.
The Wildcats return to action on Sunday, as they head to NCAA Division I Howard on November 25 for their final exhibition game of the year. They return to official action in one week for their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener on the road at USciences starting at 8 p.m.