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Hot Start Not Enough for Men’s Basketball as NCAA DI Morgan State Goes Inside for 85-78 Victory

Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Jermaine Head who scored 31 points on Monday at Morgan State, taken by Frank Stallworth.
Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Jermaine Head who scored 31 points on Monday at Morgan State, taken by Frank Stallworth.

BALTIMORE, Md. - - The shots fell early for the Wilmington University men's basketball team, but the size of Morgan State revealed itself in the second half as the NCAA Division I opponent pulled out an 85-78 victory over the Wildcats on Monday night inside Hill Field House.

The Wildcats (4-6) shot 46.6 percent from the floor for the game, and led by as many as seven points midway through the first half, but the Bears (5-5) shot 53.1 percent from the floor in the second half, outrebounded the Wildcats, 45-27, including 19 second chance points.

Trailing by four at the halftime break, the Wildcats scored the first four points of the second half to tie the game, 39-39, in the opening minute. But the Wildcats failed to score in the ensuing 3:32 as the Bears went on a game-deciding 11-0 run to lead 50-39 with 16 minutes left in regulation.

Tyler Norwood cut the deficit to six points, 54-48, with 12:11 to play, but the Bears called a timeout and regrouped, going on another 12-2 run to lead 66-50 with 7:25 showing on the clock. An old-fashioned three-point play gave the Bears their largest lead of the night, 75-57, with 4:55 to play before the Wildcats got the game to within single digits at the end.

An 8-0 Wildcat run brought the Wildcats to a 75-65 deficit on a Danny Walsh three-pointer before Tyler Norwood got it to single digits once again with another three-pointer, 80-72, with 1:20 to play. Xavier Alston hit a three to cut it to seven, but the Bears hit three straight free throws to keep the Wildcats at bay. Jermaine Head ended the night with a three-pointer, capping his game high at 31 points.

The Wildcats started off better on Monday night against the Bears as opposed to their start in their other NCAA Division I game this year at Delaware. Jermaine Head scored the first seven points for the Wildcats, and Danny Walsh gave the Wildcats a 10-6 lead with his first of three three-pointers.

The teams went back and forth before Ed Henderson and Tyler Norwood hit back-to-back three-pointers to give the Wildcats a 24-17 lead with 10:36 left in the first half. The Bears erased the Wildcats lead with an 11-0 run, taking as large of a seven-point lead themselves in the first half. The Bears hit a bank shot at the buzzer to carry a 39-35 lead into the break.

Jermaine Head shot 9-of-16 from the floor, including 3-of-6 from deep, adding 10-of-13 from the foul line for his game and season tying high 31 points. He also led the Wildcats with seven rebounds, five steals, and four assists in the contest.

Freshman Tyler Norwood was the only other Wildcat to finish in double figures with 21 points, shooting 9-of-15 from the floor.

The Bears finished the game with 16 offensive rebounds and outscored the Wildcats, 42-20, in the paint.

The Wildcats have one final game before they take a mandatory NCAA Division II seven-day break for the holidays. They return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Wednesday as they head to Holy Family for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off in Philadelphia.