Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Tyaire Ponzo-Meek by Frank Stallworth.
WILMINGTON, Del. - - The hot shooting of Goldey-Beacom took down the Wilmington University men's basketball team on Saturday, 78-66, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action at the Joseph West Jones Center.
The Wildcats (9-18, 4-14 CACC) shot 41.1 percent from the floor for the game, but the Lightning (9-18, 7-11 CACC) put in 49.1 percent of their shots, including shooting 9-of-20 from beyond the three-point arc. The win momentarily kept the Lightning in the race for the final CACC South Division playoff spot.
Wilmington's largest lead of the game came early in the first half, as the Wildcats started the game in front, 11-6. Brian Adkins tied the game with a dunk, 4-4, before Tyaire Ponzo-Meek hit one of his three three-pointers with 15:06 to play in the first half for the 7-4 lead. Ponzo-Meek hit another jumper to lead 9-4 with 13:37 to left. A pair from the foul line again gave the Wildcats a five-point lead, 11-6.
The Lightning fought back with a 6-0 run, taking the lead, 12-11, with 11:43 left in the half. The team's went on the seesaw, with Paul Medlin putting the Wildcats back in front, 18-17, with 6:01 left, but the Lightning responded with a three-pointer to retake the lead. The lead wouldn't trade hands again.
The game would be tied at 20-20, but the Wildcats weren't able to get back in front the rest of the way, as another Goldey-Beacom three-pointer gave the home team the lead for good, 23-20. Another three-pointer put the Lightning up, 30-22, with 2:30 left, before a layup at the buzzer put the home team ahead, 32-25, heading into the halftime break.
The Lightning lead grew to as large as 15-points with 12:40 left in regulation, as they hit a three-pointer to move ahead 49-34.
The Wildcats began to climb back into the game with back-to-back layups by Medlin, and then cut into the lead even more with a four-point play by Ponzo-Meek with 10:23 to play. The junior hit the three-pointer while hitting the deck, and then sank the free throw to bring the Wildcats to within 51-44. Adkins snuck in and pick-pocketed the Lightning point guard in the back guard, and dunked it home to get the Wildcats to within five, 51-46.
David Hartman and Adkins converted back-to-back layups before Sam Sanders hit the first free throw to get to within 65-63 with 2:58 to play, but the Wildcats couldn't get any closer. The back-breaker was a three-pointer with 1:39 to play, putting the Lightning up 71-65 with 1:39 left. The Lightning then hit 7-of-8 from the foul line down the stretch to ice the game.
Ponzo-Meek scored 24 points on 7-of-18 shooting, hitting 3-of-7 from beyond the three-point arc, and 7-of-7 from the foul line. He also added five rebounds and five assists on the afternoon. Adkins finished with 12 points, three rebounds, and three assists while Medlin added 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
The Wildcats season finale is on Tuesday night as they welcome Holy Family to the WU Athletics Complex. The team will honor its two seniors prior to the tip, which will be at approximately 8 p.m.