NEWARK, Del. - - In a tale of two halves, it was Concordia that picked the better half to play well in, as the Clippers came back from a 17-point halftime deficit to defeat the Wilmington University men's basketball team, 91-87, on Saturday afternoon in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference cross divisional contest at the WU Athletics Complex.
It was tough for the Wildcats (9-8, 4-4 CACC) to miss from the field in the first half, as they shot 19-of-33 (57.6 percent), including going 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) from beyond the three-point arc in the opening 20 minutes. Shawn Church hit 5-of-7 from deep, including a heat tester from beyond what would be an NBA three-pointer in the first half as the Wildcats went into the halftime break leading 52-35.
But the Clippers (6-10, 1-7 CACC) picked up their first CACC win of the season by coming out on a mission in the second half. Nick Richards laid one in to put the Wildcats ahead, 58-45, with 17:13 showing on the clock, but the Clippers went streaking from there.
The visitors scored the next 13 points on the strength of three three-pointers, the last tying the game with 14:41 left in regulation.
Danny Welsh kept the Wildcats in front with a three-pointer of his own, 63-60, and the Wildcats led by five points with 11:56 to play. But that would be the last bucket over the next two minutes of action, as the Clippers went on a 9-0 run to take a 69-65 lead with 9:30 showing on the clock.
Walsh and Gillette hit three-pointers with the Wildcats trailing by two points, the last of which came with 6:17 left, as Gillette gave the Wildcats a 77-76 lead. Richards put the home team ahead, 83-79, with a made layup with 4:33 to play, and he again gave the Wildcats the lead, 85-83, with 3:11 left in regulation.
But the Clippers' Stephen Milhaven proved to be a matchup nightmare on the low block for the Wildcats, as he continued to bring the Clippers back after each made bucket from the Wildcats. He tied the game at 85 with a pair from the foul line before two more from the charity stripe put the Clippers up, 87-85 with 1:40 on the clock. Concordia went ahead, 89-85, on their next possession as well, as Baron Goodridge laid one in with 1:32 to play.
Head brought the game to a two-point deficit with his own layup, and the Wildcats had a chance to move ahead with a good look from three on the left win from Walsh with 40 seconds left. But the lefty's three-pointer was a touch too long and the Clippers came down with the defensive rebound.
The Clippers made one from the foul line for the three-point lead and the Wildcats missed three chances under the bucket on the ensuing possession to all but end it for the home team. Another Wildcat free throw settled the final score, 91-87.
Gillette collected another double-double with 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds while Richards also put in 20 points with two rebounds and three assists. Church finished with 19 points, but 17 of them came in the first half. Walsh came off the bench to scored 11 points as well, hitting three three-pointers in the game.
Head poured in 11 points but dished out 12 assists, the second most in a single game in Wildcats' program history. It is the most in a single game in program history since Bradford Morris dished out 14 helpers at Bloomfield on November 30, 2004.
Nine Clipper offensive rebounds resulted 20-second chance points, as compared to the Wildcats six-second chance points on six offensive rebounds.
The Wildcats remain at home with their next CACC contest, as they host South Division leaders Jefferson on Tuesday night. They follow the women's game, which starts at 6:00 p.m. with an approximate start time of 8:00 p.m. at the WU Athletics Complex.