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The Wilmington University men’s basketball team carried as large as a 12 point lead and led for the majority of the contest but couldn’t hold on late as Bloomfield rallied for an 84-78 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory in Bloomfield Gym on Thursday evening.
Playing Thursday night after Winter Storm Nemo forced a postponement from February 9, the Wildcats (5-19, 5-11 CACC) took an 8-7 lead following a four-point play from Shaq Gaskins with 17:10 to play in the first half and led for the remaining of the stanza taking a three-point lead into the locker room.
Bloomfield (14-12, 12-6 CACC) scored the first seven points of the second half to take a four point lead before the teams battled back and forth for the majority of the second half. Isiah Mason put home a layup to give the visitors a 70-69 lead with 3:52 to play, but Bloomfield’s Kevin Udo converted his own layup a minute later to give the Deacons the lead which they wouldn’t give up again.
The Wildcats finished with four players in double digits, led by point guard Herb Dennis’ 17 points and eight assists. Brandon Fox and Gaskins tallied 16 points each while Mason came off the bench to score 14 points. Dennis shot 8-for-15 from the floor while Gaskins went 7-for-13 for the game with Fox stepping out and going 3-for-4 from three-point land. Shai Henry tied for the game high with nine rebounds.
Trailing 7-4 early in the contest, the Wildcats went on a 12-2 run, capped by a James Pee three pointer to jump ahead 16-9 with 15:07 to play in the first half. Another 6-0 burst turned a six point lead into the Wildcats’ largest lead of the game at 32-20 with 8:45 to play in the half as freshman Tajee Almon converted a layup off a feed from Dennis.
Still down 10 with over four minutes to play before the break, Bloomfield used a 7-0 run over the rest of the half to close the gap to three points, and then rattled off the first seven points of the second half to take its first lead since the 17:36 mark of the first half.
The teams changed leads nine times, and added two tie scores in the second half alone before the home team took the lead for good with 2:47 to play in the game. The Deacons then pushed the lead out to as many as eight points with less than a minute remaining, proving too much for the Wildcats to overcome.
Bloomfield was led by Matt Hall’s 24 points off the bench while Mike Williams and Udo added 14 points each. Marvin Williams also chipped in with double figures, scoring 14 points while dishing out a team high six assists. Mike Williams and Hall tied for the game high with the Wildcats’ Henry with nine rebounds in the game.
Both teams shot the ball well, with the Wildcats holding the slight edge at 33-for-73 (45.2 percent) from the field for the game. Bloomfield went 30-for-67 (44.8 percent) for the game. The Deacons held the advantage at the foul line, however, going 18-for-23 from the charity stripe compared to the Wildcats 4-of-10 shooting from the free throw line.
The Wildcats return home to wrap up the 2012-13 season on Saturday, squaring off against Philadelphia at the WU Athletics Complex on Senior Day. The Wildcats will honor Andrew Corrigan, Brandon Fox, Isiah Mason, and James Pee prior to the game as the four seniors will be donning the Green and White for the final time in their career. The men’s game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip.
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - Bloomfield, N.J.