NEWARK, Del. - - Four players finished with 15 or more points as the Wilmington University men's basketball team picked up their first win of the 2017-18 season, 78-67, over LIU Post on the final day of the Wilmington Tip-Off Classic on Saturday at the WU Athletics Complex.
The game was tied at 33 at the half, but the Wildcats (1-1) came out of the break on a 10-2 run in the opening 2:32 of the second half to take control. The Pioneers (0-2) held the advantage in the paint, 32-26, but the Wildcats turned 18 LIU Post turnovers into 22 points at the other end to secure the victory.
The Wildcats had four starters with 15 or more points, and was one point away form having all five starters reach double digits. The Wildcats shot 43.1% from the floor, hitting 9-of-22 from beyond the three-point arc.
Trailing by four with less than a minute to play in the first half, the Wildcats fought back to tie the game at the break. Trailing 31-27, Shawn Church hit a three-pointer with 47 seconds showing on the clock. The Pioneers sank two free throw at the other end, but Church answered again with another three-pointer with five seconds left, sending the game into the half deadlocked at 33-33.
After each team made a buck in the first minute of action in the second half, the Wildcats took off. Church started the run with yet another three-pointer, before Jermaine Head backed him up with a three-pointer of his own, 41-35. Richards' block at the defensive end led to a fastbreak at the other end, and Richards was rewarded once again, laying on in for the Wildcats' eighth straight point.
Richards eventually gave the Wildcats their first 10-point lead of the game with 15:09 left in regulation, 49-39, but the Pioneers fought back to cut the deficit to as close as 51-48 with 11:08 showing on the clock.
Still at a three-point contest, Paul Medlin bookended a quick 10-0 run with layups, getting other layups from Danny Walsh and Richards for the 62-49 lead with 7:46 to play. The lead continued to grow for the Wildcats, as Head hit a pair from the foul line for an 18-point lead, their largest of the game, 71-53, with 4:29 to go in the game.
The Pioneers couldn't get the game back into single digits the rest of the way as the Wildcats settled on the 78-67 victory.
Head led the Wildcats with 18 points, adding eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals as well. Richards poured in 16 points while dishing out a game high nine assists to go with five rebounds. Church hit five three-pointers for 15 points while Medlin finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats take to the road for the first time this season when they head to Millersville on Wednesday night. The nonconference matchup is slated for a 7:00 p.m. opening tip.