A huge second half comeback allowed the Wilmington University men's basketball team to come back form a 16-point halftime deficit to defeat Concordia, 70-65, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Saturday at the Meyer Athletic Center.
The Clippers (10-10, 7-4 CACC) jumped out to a large 9-0 lead right out of the gates on Saturday, and led by as many as 21 points in the first half before the Wildcats (7-15, 6-7 CACC) turned things around in the second half for their third straight CACC victory.
The Wildcats had the deficit down to three in the first half before the Clippers used a 16-4 run to take a 27-12 lead with 4:54 to play in the first half. The Clippers took a 36-15 lead with 2:02 left in the half before the Wildcats scored five of the next eighth points to go into the half, trailing 39-23.
A 7-0 run to start eh second half brought the Wildcats to within nine with 17:51 to play, capped by a layup by Tyaire Ponzo-Meek. A Valentino Thompson three-pointer brought the Wildcats to within six-points with 16:31 remaining. The Wildcats got to within four multiple times before Rashaun Rasheed slammed one home to bring the Wildcats to within two at 49-47, with 10:10 left in regulation.
Shai Henry tied the game with a free throw with 9:42 to play before a Thompson three-points gave the Wildcats their first lead of the contest with 8:43 to, giving the Wildcats to a 53-52 lead. A Sam Sanders three-point gave the Wildcats a 58-52 lead with 7:01 left in regulation.
A Concordia three-pointer by Jalen Heath cut the deficit to 60-58 with 4:09 to play but Thompson responded with a three of his own moments later to retake a five-point lead. The Clippers Tshyrad Oates hit another three-pointer for the home team but Thompson laid one home to thwart the Clipper momentum.
Henry put home a layup with a minute left in regulation to give the Wildcats a 68-63 lead before holding the Clippers down the stretch. The Clippers went 0-3 over the final minute from the floor; including turning the ball over twice while the Wildcats only went 2-of-6 from the foul line.
Thompson led the Wildcats with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting, hitting 4-of-7 from three-point territory. Thompson also grabbed three rebounds while dishing out three assists. Henry scored 13 points off the bench, grabbing 10 rebounds for the double-double. Ponzo-Meek rounded out the Wildcats scorers in double digits with 10 points, dishing out three assists.
The Wildcats shot 19-of-33 from the floor (57.6 percent) in the second half to charge the comeback, hitting 5-of-11 from deep. The visitors shot 41.2 percent from the floor for the game, hitting just 25.7 percent in the first 20 minutes. Wilmington held the Clippers to 33.3 percent from the floor for the game, including just 21.2 percent (7-of-33) from the floor in the second half.
The Clippers led for 29:51 of the contest while the Wildcats held a lead for just 8:43. The score was tied for just 1:19 of the contest.
The Wildcats are on the road for one more contest, as they look for their fourth straight victory. The Wildcats head to Philadelphia University on Tuesday in the nightcap of a doubleheader, with the tip starting at 7:30 p.m. Philadelphia head coach Herb Magee is looking for his 1,000th career victory on Tuesday night.