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The Wilmington University women’s basketball team had three players scored at least 18 points, but it was six late free throws from Concordia that sank the Wildcats, 83-77, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference battle on Saturday afternoon at the Meyer Athletic Center.
Wilmington (3-16, 1-11 CACC) was led by freshman Tenicia Spence’s 19 points, but also had senior Danielle Thomas and freshman Tiaja Harrold score 18 points each in a game that featured 13 lead changes and 13 ties through the 40 minutes. The loss was the sixth consecutive for the Wildcats and eighth straight CACC defeat.
Concordia (6-14, 5-7 CACC) also had three people in double digits, led by Krystina Agard’s game high 34 points and 17 rebounds. She shot 9-of-17 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from beyond the three-point, and added a perfect 12-for-12 performance from the foul line. Victoria Jones also earned a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 9-for-13 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from down town. Anjali Moncrieffe was the final Clipper in double digits, scoring 10 points off the bench.
The Wildcats came roaring out of the gates to open the game, getting back-to-back layups from Allison McDonald and Harrold on the first two possessions to take a quick 4-0 lead. McDonald hit a jumper on their next possession to push the lead back out to three early in the contest. Taylor Carter followed with a jumper of her own before Lauren Brown nailed each of her two free throws to extend the lead out to 10-3 with 16:48 to play in the first half. The seven point lead would be the largest of the afternoon for the Wildcats.
Later in the first half, the visitors would again push the lead out to seven on two more occasions, the last after a jumper from Spence at 18-11 with 13:19 remaining in opening half. The Clippers hit back-to-back three pointers to close the gap to one point before eventually taking a 5 points lead with 11:14 to play. In a back and forth half, Spence converted on a pair of free throws with 37 seconds remaining to knot the score at 44 heading into the locker room.
The Wildcats struck first in the second half, moving ahead by two points on a layup from Brown before the two teams battled back and forth over the next 18 minutes, with neither team gaining larger than a five points lead.
Tied for the 12th time on the afternoon with 7:52 to play in regulation, the home team laid one home for a two point lead and finally hit a three-pointer 2:36 later to take a five point lead with 5:15 showing on the clock. Harrold started the small comeback with a three-pointer of her own with 3:24 to play before Spence hit one of two from the charity stripe to close the gap to one point.
The Clippers had the lead back up to three points with 1:24 to play, but Harrold responded with her third and final three-pointer of the afternoon, tying the game at 77 for the 13th and what would be the final time of the contest.
On their next possession and looking for the lead with less than a minute remaining, Harrold missed a jumper as the ball fell into the arms of Concordia’s Agard. The Clippers leading scorer was fouled and scored both of her free throws to take a two-point lead with 38 seconds to play. The Wildcats would miss both of their shots the rest of the way, allowing the Clippers to continue to hit free throws to extend the lead before settling for the 83-77 final.
Tashea Plummer led the Wildcats with 14 rebounds, finishing as the lone visitor in double digit boards. She added eight points and three assists on the ballgame. Thomas hit 4-of-10 from beyond the three-point mark, scoring her 18 points in only 16 minutes of action off the bench. Spence also came off the bench to score her 19 points, shooting 6-for-21 from the floor while adding 7-of-9 from the foul line.
After a two week hiatus away from the WU Athletics Complex, the Wildcats return for another CACC doubleheader on Tuesday against Holy Family. The women will be the nightcap of the double-dip, following the men with an 8 p.m. tip.
Published: Saturday, January 26, 2013 - Bronxeville, N.Y.