NEW CASTLE, Del. - - Despite a perfect effort by Isiah Mason from the floor, the Wilmington University men's basketball team dropped an overtime thriller to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference rival Goldey-Beacom College, 79-75, on Tuesday night at the Pratt Center.
Mason finished eight for eight from the floor, two for two from beyond the arc, and two for two from the foul line to tally a team high 20 points. But it wasn't enough as the Wildcats (4-8, 0-4 CACC) couldn't hold onto a ten point lead with just over seven minutes remaining in regulation.
Wilmington found itself trailing by its largest margin of the first half after Goldey-Beacom's Ido Yehuda put back a lay in to put the Lightning up 36-33 heading into the break.
GBC (6-5, 4-0 CACC) came out in the second half and took its largest lead of the game with 17:06 remaining, as Rich Flemming made one of two from the foul line to make it 40-35. But that is when the Wildcats stormed back and went on a 21-6 run, fueled by Mason's back-to-back three's to kick start the run, to take the largest lead of the evening 56-46.
After the Lightning scored two straight baskets to cut the deficit to six, Edward Freeman responded with lone three-pointer of the night, making it 59-50 with 7:44 to play. A layup by Brandon Fox on the Wildcats' next possession again made it a 10 point lead with 7:06 remaining in the second half.
Goldey-Beacom rallied with a 14-3 run of its own to eventually retake the lead on a jumper by Lawrence Livingston. A.J. Picard made it a two point lead for the Lightning with 22 seconds left on the scoreboard before Mason responded with another layup to tie the score for the eighth time on the night. The Wildcats' Brandon Fox stripped a driving Picard as time was winding down, but a last chance three by Herbert Dennis was off the mark, sending the game to overtime.
Mason scored the first two points of the overtime form the foul line, but that would be the only lead the Wildcats would see in the extra period. Trailing by two 24 seconds remaining, Jarvis Perry was isolated at the top of the arc, but lost control of the ball on the way to basket, turning the ball over and keeping Goldey-Beacom perfect in the CACC.
Fox finished with 15 points while Freeman added 14 and Corye Payton chipped in 13. Perry and Payton each had a team-high seven rebounds.
The Lightning went 25 for 34 from the charity stripe, while the Wildcats were only 12-18 for the game.
The men return to action on Saturday, as they travel to Caldwell for another CACC matchup starting at 3 p.m.