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After a tightly contested first half, the nationally ranked Holy Family women’s basketball team proved its mettle in the second half, pulling away from Wilmington University for an 80-56 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory on Tuesday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
Moving up to No. 8 in the latest USA Today Sports DII Top 25 Coaches’ Poll released on Tuesday, the Tigers (18-2, 12-1 CACC) doubled a 12-point halftime lead in leading to their sixth straight victory overall.
Despite a late first half surge to close out the stanza, the Wildcats (3-17, 1-12 CACC) hung right with the eighth ranked team in Division II, closing the game to as few as two with 7:28 remaining in the opening 20 minutes.
Trailing by 12 early on, the Wildcats used a 10-0 spurt to get within striking distance before the end of the half. Senior Danielle Thomas started the first half rally, driving through the lane for a layup, and converting the old-fashioned three-point play as she was fouled. On the next possession, sophomore forward Tashea Plummer nailed her only three-point attempt of the evening to cut the deficit to six with 11:22 remaining. Plummer then hit another jumper to close the gap to four with 9:14 to play before making it three straight baskets with another jumper at the 7:28 mark to bring the Wildcats to within two at 21-19 with 7:28 showing on the clock.
From there, the Tigers used their own 7-0 run to reestablish a nine point lead before eventually scoring the final five points of the half to carry a 12 point lead into the locker room, 37-25.
The second half was all Holy Family as it went on a 7-0 run out of the gates to jump to a 19 point lead before the Wildcats even got on the board in the second half. The Tigers extended the lead to as large as 30 points in the second half before the Wildcats fought back to settle on the final score of 80-56.
Plummer and Thomas paced the Wildcats with each scoring a team high 14 points while junior Lauren Brown was the only other Wildcat to reach double digits with 10 points. Plummer grabbed a team high six rebounds while freshman Tenicia Spence dished out a team high three assists.
Reigning All-CACC first teamer Erin Mann led the Tigers with a game high 19 points while 13 of the 14 student-athletes that saw action off the Holy Family bench scored. Mann, the CACC leader in field goal percentage, shot 8-for-9 from the floor and added a 3-for-4 performance from the line in 19 minutes. For the game, the Tigers shot 51.8 percent (29-for-56) from the floor.
Wilmington took 62 shots on Tuesday night, hitting 20 of them for a 32.3 field goal percentage. The Wildcats also hit 4-of-18 form beyond the three-point arc and 12-of-19 from the foul line.
The Wildcats remain at home for one more contest on Saturday, as they welcome Nyack (0-18, 0-11 CACC) to the WU Athletics Center for a 1 p.m. tip.
Published: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - Newark, Del.