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Spence Pours in 31 but Wildcats Can’t Hang onto Big Second Half Lead, Fall to Georgian Court, 68-65
WBB: Georgian Court 68 - Wilmington 65
Freshman standout Tenicia Spence scored the first six points of the second half to give the Wilmington University women’s basketball team its largest lead of the night at 12 points, but Georgian Court stormed back to steal a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contest, 68-65, on Tuesday night at the Wellness Center Arena.
Spence set a new career high with 31 points, tying for the tenth most points in a single contest in program history. Senior Danielle Thomas was the last Wildcat to score 30 or more points, tallying 32 against Cheyney on November 17, 2010.
With 1:58 to play in the opening half, Spence hit a jumper to cap the scoring and to put the Wildcats (3-15, 1-10 CACC) up 33-27 heading into the locker room. Spence then came out of the break and scored the first six points on a pair of jumpers and two foul shots, making it 11 straight points by the freshman since a three-pointer by classmate Tiaja Harrold at the 4:59 mark of the first half.
After the 12 point lead, Georgian Court (5-11, 5-6 CACC) still had 18:23 to make a comeback. The Lions began to cut into the lead and had the deficit to nine points with 16:38 remaining. Two free throws by sophomore Megan Fox put the visitors back up by 11 at 41-30 with 16:24 showing on the scoreboard. That would be the largest lead the Wildcats would enjoy the rest of the way.
Georgian Court started their comeback with a quick 7-0 run, capped by a pair of free throws from Brittany Baker to cut the lead to four at 41-37 with 14:52 to play. The Wildcats kept the Lions at bay for the next minute and a half before the Lions made push to take the lead. Jade Williams started an 8-0 run for the home team, as the Lions took their first lead since the 7:32 mark of the first half with 9:55 to play, leading 50-48.
Spence tied the game at 55 with a layup at the 7:26 mark of the second half, but the Wildcats could never get over the hump again as the Lions went on to take their fifth and final lead of the game. A quick 7-0 burst gave the Lions their largest lead of the game with only 5:25 remaining before the Wildcats tried to battle back.
Lauren Brown sank her second three-pointer of the game to close the gap to within two at 62-60 before Spence eventually closed the deficit to a single point by hitting a pair from the free throw line, 64-63. Spence would again bring the Wildcats to within one point on their next trip down the floor, again converted on two foul shots to make it 66-65 with 1:23 left in regulation.
The Wildcats worked a turnover from the Lions on the ensuing possession, but Spence was unable to convert the layup, keeping the Wildcats trailing by one. Georgian Court’s Christina White made two free throws with 23 second left, giving the Wildcats an opportunity to tie.
Following a timeout, the play went to Thomas beyond the arc but her game tying shot was off the mark and Georgian Court was able to grab the rebound.
Brown was the only other Wildcat to reach double figures, scoring 12 points while hitting both of her three point attempts. Spence shot 11-for-23 from the floor, sinking her only three-point attempt of the game and converted 8-of-11 from the foul line. Tashea Plummer led the Wildcats with seven rebounds.
The Wildcats have 11 days to work out the kinks before trying to snap their five game losing streak. Wilmington is off until next Saturday before it heads to Concordia for another CACC matchup. The women will be the first game of a doubleheader, starting at 1 p.m.