CHESTER, Pa. - - The Wilmington University men's basketball team got off to a slow start which allowed West Chester to take the nonconference victory, 78-61, played at the Schwartz Center on the campus of Widener University on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats (3-3) couldn't find the shooters' touch in the opening 20 minutes, leading to a 16-point halftime deficit. The Golden Rams are off to their second 5-0 start in three years.
The first half shooting woes resulted in the Wildcats shooting 25 percent from the floor, going 8-of-32. They also only hit 1-of-9 from beyond the three-point arc in the first half.
The Golden Rams pulled away early, breaking a 4-4 tie with a 14-0 run to lead 18-4 with 14:53 to play in the half. The lead ballooned to as large as 17 points on multiple occasions, the last at 32-15 with 5:18 showing on the clock.
The second half started better for the Wildcats and the visitors started to make a comeback. Trailing 52-37 halfway through the second half, the Wildcats scored six straight to cut the deficit to single digits, 52-43. Danny Walsh then hit a three-pointer to bring the Wildcats to within 52-46 with 8:19 left in regulation.
Shawn Church cut into the deficit even more with another three-pointer, 54-49, with 7:32. But the comeback ran out of gas there as the Golden Rams scored the next six points to extend the lead back out to 13 with 4:35 in the game. The Wildcats couldn't get any closer than 11 the rest of the way.
After only scoring six points in the first half, Jermaine Head led the Wildcats with 25 points in the game, shooting 10-of-20 from the floor. Walsh finished with 12 points while hitting two three-pointer.
Freshman Dawson Grinnage came off the bench to grab 16 rebounds. That is the most rebounds in a game since Taj Almon grabbed 16 on January 21, 2017 at Holy Family. The Wilmington NCAA record for boards in a game is 20.
The Wildcats return to the WU Athletics Complex when they return to action this week. They will host the District of Columbia on Wednesday in the final nonconference contest before getting into Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action. The game against the Firebirds is set for 7:00 p.m.