Tyaire Ponzo-Meek set a new career mark with 35 points in leading the Wilmington University men's basketball team to its third straight victory, an 82-74 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory over Georgian Court on Wednesday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
The sophomore's career night came with hitting six three-pointers and going 9-of-12 from the foul line, all with shooting 10-of-16 from the floor. Ponzo-Meek scored 22 of his 35 in the second half, shooting 6-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-5 from three-point territory in the process. The 35 points ties the third best mark in the program's NCAA era (2004-05) as Taureen Temple scored 44 points at Dominican in 2006.
Holding for the last shot of the half, the Wildcats (3-7, 2-2 CACC) turned the ball over and the Lions' (2-9, 0-5 CACC) Michael Pierre banked home a half court shot, beating the buzzer to cut the visitors' deficit to 35-34 going into the break.
The Lions took their biggest lead of the night with 15:42 remaining in regulation before the Wildcats started the comeback. Ponzo-Meek went on a 9-0 run of his own to give the Wildcats a 49-44 lead with 12:04 to play and the Wildcats never looked back.
Tajee Almon put the Wildcats up six with 9:02 to play before a Kevin Ohen three-pointer gave the Wildcats a 65-58 lead with 6:13 remaining in regulation. The lions cut the deficit to three points but a three pointer by Ponzo-Meek, and a foul shot by Ohen quickly gave the Wildcats another seven point advantage.
Ta'Vaune Griffin put the stamp on the victory with 2:01 remaining, emphatically slamming home a missed three-pointer by Shai Henry to put the Wildcats ahead 74-65. From there, the Wildcats went 7-of-8 from the foul line to close out the Lions.
Ohen scored 11 of his 13 in the second half, also going 3-of-5 from deep. He finished 4-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-7 from deep while also grabbing five rebounds. Griffin scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench. Valentino Thompson and Almon each added eight points off the bench.
The Wildcats have a chance at four wins in around when they host Merrimack on Saturday for another game at the WU Athletics Complex. The nonconference bout will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday.