ORANGEBURG, N.Y. - - This time the deficit was too big to overcome.
Trailing by 22 points at the halftime break, the Wilmington University men's basketball team tried its patented second half comeback against Dominican but could only cut it to as close to nine points, falling on the road, 74-62, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Action on Saturday afternoon.
Finding themselves down by as many as 26 in the second half, the Wildcats (7-11, 2-6 CACC) used a 19-3 run starting at the 12:34 mark to close within nine points, but ran out of steam and time on the road. Dominican (11-7, 4-6 CACC) led wire-to-wire and used a 25-for-34 effort from the foul line for the win.
The Chargers used a 23-0 run in the final ten minutes in the first half to take a commanding 40-13 lead with 1:56 to play in the first half. Matt King ended the streak with a pair of free throws, and a Corye Payton three-pointer allowed the Wildcats to go into the halftime break down 22.
Dominican came out in the second half and extended the lead back to 26 on a three-pointer by Khaleev Ginyard with 17:14 to play. The teams traded buckets for the next couple possessions as a layup by the Charger's Cory Quimby made it 56-31 with 12:54 remaining in regulation.
But that is when the Wildcats made their run.
King started the rally with three of the team's next four layups to spark an eight point run. Ed Freeman sank two free throws to make it 10 straight before Dominican's Quimby ended it with a layup of his own. But Payton responded with layup, followed by a three from James Pee and two more lay-ins from Jarvis Perry and Payton cut it to 59-50 with 4:41 on the clock.
The Wildcats ran out of steam from there however, as the Chargers put a run of their together as they re-extended the lead back to 16 points with 1:37 to play. Another 7-0 run by Wilmington cut it to nine once again, but with only 43 seconds to play in the game. Dominican made 5-of-8 foul shots to finish off the game.
Payton led all scorers with 20 points, shooting 7-for-16 on the afternoon. King (13) and Perry (11) also added double figures for the Wildcats, as Perry, King, and Freeman all pulled in a team high four rebounds.
Quimby also had a game-high 20 points for the Chargers, shooting 7-for-10 from the floor and 6-for-8 from the foul line. Quimby finished with a double-double, grabbing 18 rebounds. Ginyard (16) and Daniel Woods (13) also picked up double figures in points.
The Wildcats return to the hardwood on Tuesday, January 31 as they welcome Philadelphia to the Pratt Center for an 8 p.m. tip. Tuesday is the state of Delaware's first Domestic Violence Awareness Night and the teams will wear purple warm-up shirts to help spread awareness.