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Balanced Attack Sends Wilmington Men’s Basketball to 85-76 CACC Victory over Goldey-Beacom

Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Tajee Almon and Brian Adkins going all out for a loose ball, taken by Frank Stallworth.
Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Tajee Almon and Brian Adkins going all out for a loose ball, taken by Frank Stallworth.

Video recap at bottom of page.

NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University men's basketball team stopped a red hot Goldey-Beacom team, shooting its way to an 85-76 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory on Sunday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.

For the second consecutive game, and only second time this season, the Wildcats (8-5, 4-1 CACC) shot over 50 percent from the floor, tying the season's second most scoring output with 85 points. The Wildcats also moved the ball on Sunday afternoon, assisting on 20 of the team's 29 made baskets. The win snapped the Lightning's (7-3, 3-2 CACC) six-game winning streak.

The Lightning hit a three-pointer to take a slim 23-22 lead with seven minutes to play in the first half, but Miles Gillette scored the first two buckets and six points overall in a 10-0 run to take a 32-23 lead. The Wildcats would not relinquish the lead the rest of the game.

Back-to-back layups by Omari Dill-Pettiford and Tyaire Ponzo-Meek put the home team ahead, 38-31, late in the half before Dill-Pettiford sent the Wildcats into the halftime break leading 40-33, with a jumper.

Following a Lightning dunk with 12:58 left to bring the visitors to within 55-49, the Wildcats used a Ponzo-Meek three-pointer and Gillette layup off a turnover to regain an 11-point lead, 60-49. Drew Johnson hit one of his three three-pointers to take a 67-54 lead before a pair from the free-throw line by Masner Beauplan gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the afternoon, 69-54, with 9:36 showing on the clock.

The Lightning didn't go away, however, as they came back with eight straight to climb to within 69-62 with 6:50 to play. A layup and a foul had the Lightning to 73-67, but a technical foul ceased the momentum for the visitors, as what could have been a five-point deficit remained at 75-68 following the completed three-point play. The Wildcats went 12-of-14 from the foul line the rest of the way to ice the game.

The Wildcats had five players reach double figures, led by Dill-Pettiford's 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting. The sophomore scored 15 of his point in the first half to give the Wildcats a boost. Ponzo-Meek finished with 20 points while adding eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and a steal. Led by his three three-pointers, Johnson finished with 13 points, adding six rebounds, five assists, and a block as well.

Gillette and Beauplan came off the bench to score double digits, as Gillette was perfect from the floor (5-of-5) for 10 points and five rebounds. Beauplan went 10-of-12 from the foul like to score all 10 of his points, adding two assists, and two steals.

The Lightning's Dante Thompson finished as the game-high scorer, pouring in 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting and 9-of-11 from the foul line.

The Wildcats will take a full two weeks off, thanks in large part to the mandatory NCAA Division II holiday break, before playing again. The team will head to the District of Columbia on January 2 for a 6:00 p.m. tip-off.