Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University men's basketball team was unable to hold on down the stretch of regulation as Post earned a 95-86 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory in overtime on Tuesday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Tyaire Ponzo-Meek put the Wildcats (5-11, 1-7 CACC) ahead 75-71 with 52 seconds left but the CACC North Division leading Eagles (9-6, 5-3 CACC) battled back with a three-pointer and tied the game with a free throw with 19 seconds showing on the game clock.
Ponzo-Meek worked his way out of a double-team and had a look at the basket at the buzzer, but his three-pointer hit off the back of the rim as the teams went into overtime.
The Eagles blitzed the Wildcats out of the gates in the overtime period, hitting a three-pointer on the opening possession, getting three cracks at the basket on the second possession, and hitting a longer jumper on the third possession for a quick 82-75 lead.
Brian Adkins hit a three-pointer with 31 seconds left in the overtime period to cut the deficit to 90-86, but that's as close as the Wildcats would get as the Eagles held on.
The Wildcats held possession leading, 75-74, with 33 seconds left in the game, but a Sam Sanders missed layup quickly in the shot clock allowed the Eagles to tie the game with their free throw at the other end.
The Wildcats had a lead as large as 10 points in the first half, using an 18-3 run over a 3:18 span to take a 37-27 lead. Ponzo-Meek started the scoring with a pair of free throws before David Hartman put in a layup and nailed a three-pointer on back-to-back possessions, giving the Wildcats a 26-24 lead.
Ponzo-Meek converted a three-point play before Brian Adkins collected a steal and a fast break layup to put the home team up 31-24. The Eagles were able to hit a three-pointer to end the drought, but the Wildcats came back with back-to-back three-pointers of their own, as Drew Johnson II and Hartman put the Wildcats up, 37-27, with 3:30 left. But the Wildcats couldn't sustain the run going into the halftime break, as the Eagles battled back to close the gap to 39-37 heading into the locker room.
Sanders paced a 10-2 run of his own in the second half, hitting a pair of three-pointers and two from the paint to put the Wildcats up 63-56 with 8:10 left to play. The Eagles continued to push back, however, and had the game to with 72-71 to set up the final minute of play.
Ponzo-Meek led the Wildcats with 32 points on Tuesday, adding 10 rebounds for the double-double. Adkins scored 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, hitting 3-of-5 from deep. Sanders came off the bench to score 15 points while also grabbing seven rebounds. Hartman added a season's best 10 points on the night.
Post collected 18 offensive rebounds that turned into 22 second-chance points. They also out-rebounded the Wildcats, 49-40, in the game.
The Wildcats remain in CACC play but take to the road for their next contest. The Wildcats head to nationally ranked No. 24 Holy Family on Saturday in the nightcap of a CACC doubleheader. The men will tip-off at approximately 3:00 p.m.