NEWARK, Del. - - It was hard for the Wilmington University men's basketball team to miss in the first half, as they scored 52 points on its way to a 94-77 victory over the District of Columbia in their final nonconference tune-up prior to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener on Wednesday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (4-3) had their best offensive output of the season on Wednesday night, shooting 51.5 percent from the floor en route to their most points scored since a 97 point outburst at Nyack last season in February.
The first half was were it all started for the Wildcats, as they shot 21-of-38 (55.3 percent) from the floor. They did the bulk of the scoring inside the three-point arc as well, shooting just 3-of-11 from deep. The Wildcats were 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) from the floor on two-point field goals in the opening 20 minutes.
The first double digit lead came at the end of back-to-back buckets by Jermaine Head, as his second jumper put the Wildcats up, 16-5, with 13:35 left in the half. But the Wildcats turned it on late, going on a 10-0 spurt over a 2:04 span to take a 44-27 lead with 2:33 showing on the clock. Head hit a jumper, came up with a steal and dished it to Nick Richards for another layup to go up 20, 48-28. Richards and Shawn Church finished off the scoring in the opening half for the Wildcats, sending the home team into the locker room with a 52-33 lead.
Church hit a three-pointer to start the second frame, but UDC (1-5) started to push back. The Firebirds used 14-6 second half start to get to within 11 points, and were again within 11 as late as 14:20 remaining in regulation. That would be as close as the Firebirds would get, however.
The Wildcats answered with the next eight points in the game and later used another 7-0 run to move ahead 80-58 with 8:18 showing on the clock. Church would give the Wildcats their largest lead of the game with a long distance three-pointer, 93-68, with 3:11 left in the game before settling on the final score, 94-77.
Four Wildcats finished in double figures, led by Miles Gillette's first career double-double. He scored 21 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor, adding 6-of-8 from the foul line and a career best 12 rebounds.
Church hit five of the Wildcats' eight three-pointers on the night, finishing with 21 points as well. Richards added 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, adding a team high six assists and two steals. Head scored 12 points and dished out five assists with only one turnover in the game.
The Wildcats turned 19 UDC turnovers into 22 points points while also grabbing 15 offensive rebounds for 20 second chance points.
Wilmington has the weekend off to prepare for their CACC start next Tuesday. They host Holy Family at the WU Athletics Complex in the nightcap of the women and men's doubleheader. The men are set to tip-off at 8:00 p.m.