Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Brian Adkins against Felician by Frank Stallworth.
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University men's basketball team stayed ahead of Felician for the majority its Saturday afternoon contest, but needed a ferocious dunk to regain momentum and carry the team to a 73-66 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory over Felician at the WU Athletics Complex.
Wilmington's (9-17, 4-13 CACC) seven-point lead diminished as Felician (9-15, 6-11 CACC) battled back to tie the game at 57-57 with 4:39 left in regulation, but Brian Adkin's timely and vicious dunk among three Golden Falcons sparked a 10-0 run for the home team. The Wildcats carried the momentum to the seven-point victory.
The game featured seven lead changes and six ties, but the bulk of the changes came in the early going of the first half. The Golden Falcons held their largest lead, 24-20, with 6:32 left in the first before the Wildcats fought back to take a 38-35 lead into the halftime break.
The teams traded punched throughout the second half, with Felician tying the game at 44-44 before the Wildcats regained the lead with a quick 7-2 run. The Golden Falcons got the game back to within a single points, 51-50, but Sam Sanders found a sweet spot on the left elbow, hitting back-to-back jumpers to start another 6-0 run for the Wildcats.
But the Golden Falcons again battled back, scoring seven straight of their own to knot the game at 57-57 with to play. Adkins turned the tide in favor of the Wildcats for the remainder of the game on a single play.
On the ensuing offensive possession, Adkins received the ball on the right wing, drove left into the lane, and rose above three Golden Falcon players for the dunk, forcing the bench and crowd to its feet. Drew Johnson II followed with a steal and an easy layup for Tyaire Ponzo-Meek before Ponzo-Meek nailed an in-rhythm three-pointer. The Wildcats lead ballooned to 64-57 in a blink of an eye.
Johnson capped the 10-0 run with another three-pointer with 1:51 to play, giving the home team its largest lead of the game, 67-57. Sanders and Ponzo-Meek hit all six free throws down the stretch to wrap up the CACC victory.
Ponzo-Meek led the Wildcats with 22 points, shooting 8-of-13 from the field including 2-of-4 from three-point territory. Johnson sank four three-pointers en route to 17 points, shooting 5-of-9 for the game. Sanders came off the bench to finish with 13 points, shooting 4-of-9.
Johnson also dished out five assists while Ponzo-Meek led the Wildcats with eight rebounds. Paul Medlin scored eight and grabbed seven boards while adding two blocked shots as well.
The Wildcats head across town for their final road trip of the year next Saturday, when they take on Goldey-Beacom at the Joseph West Jones Center. The men complete the doubleheader with a 3:00 p.m. tip-off.