PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - Playing in its third overtime session in its last four games, the Wilmington University men's basketball team couldn't create the magic once again, falling to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division leader Jefferson, 97-94, on Wednesday night at the Gallagher Center.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Wildcats (9-10, 6-4 CACC), while Jefferson (14-6, 9-2 CACC) extends its winning streak to nine straight, not having lost since Wednesday, December 19.
The Rams seemed to have the game in the bag, leading the Wildcats 83-77 with 1:54 left in regulation. The Wildcats got a free throw and then induced a 10-second violation to get the ball back. Thomas Farrior laid one in to get the game to within a single possession, 83-80, with 1:12 to play.
Jefferson missed a three-pointer at their end, and Farrior came back with an elbow jumper to bring the Wildcats to a single point with 28 seconds showing on the clock. The Rams hit both free throws, but the Wildcats got a huge three-pointer from CACC Rookie of the Week Jordan Harding with eight ticks left on the clock, tying the game at 85-85. The Rams' last ditch effort, a three by Kylan Guerra, was off the mark at the buzzer, sending the game into the extra session.
Playing in his first game in about a year and a half, Omari Dill-Pettiford put the Wildcats up early in the overtime period with a three-pointer. But the Rams answered with a corner three of their own, and took a 92-88 lead with a layup and two free throws. Dll-Pettiford hit another three-pointer with 1:27 left to cut the game to a single point, but the Rams had an answer again with a tough fade-away jumper and one of two from the line.
Jermaine Head pulled up for three and again brought the Wildcats to a single point, 95-94, but a full court pass sprung a Rams' dunk to again lead by three points with 18 seconds left.
The Rams led by as many as 10 points late in the first half, but the Wildcats fought back to only go into the break trailing 41-38. The Rams turned nine Wildcat turnovers into 16 points while the Wildcats couldn't only turn 10 Ram turnovers into nine points at the other end.
Omari Dill-Pettiford scored 16 of his 18 points after halftime, not having played since a regulation game since February 25, 2017. He shot 7-of-14 from the floor, including 2-of-4 from three-point territory, in 20 minutes of action.
Jermaine Head led the Wildcats with 28 points, adding nine rebounds to go with seven assists. Jordan Harding seconds his third straight double-double, hitting all six of his three-pointers and going 8-of-9 overall from the floor for 22 points and 10 rebounds. Thomas Farrior poured in 24 points to go with five rebounds and two assists.
The Wildcats will look to get back in the win column when they return to the WU Athletics Complex for their next contest. They host Caldwell on Saturday in a cross divisional contest starting at 3:00 p.m.