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Herb Dennis’ Tear Drop With Two Seconds Remaining Gives Men’s Basketball Wild 65-63 Victory over Cross-Town Rivals Goldey-Beacom
MBB: Wilmington 65 - Goldey-Beacom 63
Holding on for the last possession, the ball would remain in Herb Dennis’ hands. What he didn’t expect was to get two cracks at the game-winning basket.
With less than two seconds remaining in regulation, Dennis broke a tie score with his own offensive rebound and put-back tear-drop from the baseline to lift the Wilmington University men’s basketball team past crosstown rivals Goldey-Beacom, 65-63, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference thriller on Monday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
With eight second to play, Dennis drove and spun back to his left shoulder to find himself in the middle of the paint, but his first tear-drop attempt went begging. The ball bounced around several pair of hands under the basket before Dennis quickly gathered the loose ball and put up another runner over the outstretched arms of the Lightning defense.
That wasn’t the final heart stopper for Wildcats’ (2-8, 2-3 CACC) head coach Mike Gallagher however, as the Lightning (4-7, 2-2 CACC) drew up a play in a timeout which nearly worked to perfection. After inbounding the ball at half court, the Lightning’s Marcus Porter, who already made multiple three-pointers from NBA range earlier in the game, found himself with an open look to win the game. But the Wildcats’ Tajee Almon came in on the last split second and was able to get a hand in Porter’s face, forcing the ball wide of the basket and falling to the floor as the buzzer sounded.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak to the in-state rivals, with Wilmington not having won a contest against Goldey-Beacom since February 9, 2010.
Wilmington did not need the game to be as close as it was in the final minute, as the Wildcats opened the scoring with a James Pee jumper just inside the three-point arc and never gave up the lead. Goldey-Beacom, who trailed by 11 at the halftime break, fought back to tie the game at 61 with 3:15 to play, and again at 63 with 39 seconds remaining, but could never break through to take the lead.
The Wildcats were able to take their largest lead of the game into the locker room after the opening 20 minutes of game action due to a 17-9 run that spanned 6:53 of the first half with the final bucket coming with 1:33 to play.
Leading 21-18, Dennis hit a jumper to start the run with 8:26 remaining in the first half. Shai Henry followed with a jumper on the next possession to push it to 25-18. After a Porter three for the Lightning, Dennis responded with a layup to keep the visitors at arm’s reach with 7:18 showing on the scoreboard. James Pee pushed the lead to eight before back-to-back layups by Dusan Kojic and Brandon Fox finally got the Wildcats over the double-digit mark at 35-25 with 2:42 remaining.
Porter converted a layup for Goldey-Beacom before Fox stepped out beyond the three-point arc and sank his second three-pointer of the first half for the final bucket and the largest lead of the night at 38-27.
After the break, the Lightning chipped away at the lead all second half, getting the deficit to under 10 at the 17:05 mark and to a one possession game as early as 13:07 left in regulation.
Dennis’ teardrop gave him 10 points on the evening, a part of four Wildcats who reached double figures. Fox led all Wildcats with 19 points, followed by Isiah Mason’s 13 on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor. Pee also added double digits, scoring 12 points.
Porter led all scorers with 24, but took 20 shots to get it. He finished with a double-double, also grabbing 12 boards in the process. A.J. Picard added 15 points for the visitors while Curtis Hopkins chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
The Wildcats shot 49.1 percent from the floor, including 5-for-5 from the foul line in the second half to finish at 83.3 percent for the game. Wilmington held Goldey-Beacom to a 35.1 percent night from the floor, but was outrebounded 37-31, including a 14-7 disadvantage on the offensive glass.
Having won its previous two games at home, the Wildcats remain at the friendly confines of the WU Athletics Complex for three more contests. Lincoln University is next on the schedule, as the Lions come to Newark on Saturday for a 3 p.m. tip.