Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Tyaire Ponzo-Meek.
AMHERST, N.Y. - - A quick start sent Daemen to a 2015-16 season opening victory, 109-87, over the Wilmington University men's basketball team on Friday night to start the ECC-CACC Challenge in Lumsden Gymnasium.
Daemen (1-0) finished with five players in double figures while shooting 58.5 percent from the floor for the game. Daemen also added a 12-for-24 night from beyond the three-point arc. The Wildcats (0-1) shot a respectable 43.8 percent from the floor, but got off to a slow start which featured a 9-for-33 (27.3 percent) shooting performance in the first half.
Back-to-back three pointers in the early going gave the home team a 10-2 lead and they took their first 10-point lead at 14-4. The Wildcats chipped away at the lead with a dunk from Ta'Vaune Griffin and a three-pointer by Tyaire Ponzo-Meek to cut the deficit to 18-13. But the Daemen Wildcats responded with a three of their own on the next possession and Wilmington wouldn't get any closer.
Daemen's Torrence Dyck laid one home at the 7:37 mark of the first half which sparked a 10-0 run for the home team, as they took a 40-20 lead with 4:15 left in the first half. Daemen eventually took a 48-27 lead into the break,
The second half was a high scoring affair, as the Wildcats went shot for shot with Daemen. The Wildcats shot 23-for-40 from the field, including 9-of-17 from three-point land in the second stanza, scoring 60 points. But the issue was Daemen wasn't missing to allow the Wildcats to cut into the deficit. Daemen shot 21-for-35 (60 percent) from the floor in the second half, including 6-of-11 from deep.
The Wildcats' Brian Adkin shot 8-for-9 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point territory in the second half, leading all scorers with 21 points in the frame. Joseph Richard added 5-of-9 shooting from the floor while hitting 4-for-8 from long range in the second half for 15 points.
Ponzo-Meek led the Wildcats with 24 points on the night, shooting 10-for-19 from the floor. The junior guard also added seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals in the contest. Adkins 21 points in the second half allowed him to finish with 23 for the game, as he shot 9-for-12 from the floor for the game, including 4-for-5 from deep. Richards was the only other Wildcat to score in double digits, scoring all 15 of his points in the second half.
Drew Johnson II led the Wildcats with eight rebounds in the game while also dishing out three assists. Paul Medlin grabbed six offensive rebounds and totaled seven for the game while also adding two blocks off the bench.
Dyck led all scorers for Daemen with 29 points in the game. He shot 10-for-13 from the floor, including 2-for-3 from deep while adding 7-for-8 from the foul line.
The Wildcats get the chance to put the season opener behind them, as they hit the hardwood once again on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats round out the CACC-ECC Challenge with a contest against Roberts Wesleyan starting at 2 p.m.