WEST CHESTER, Pa. - - The red hot 12th ranked West Chester jumped out early against the Wilmington University men's basketball team, leading to a 107-74 nonconference victory on Wednesday night inside Hollinger Field House.
New to the D2SIDA Men's Basketball National Poll this week, West Chester stormed out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back. They took their first double digit lead less than six minutes into the contest and held as large as a 34-point advantage in the victory over the Wildcats (0-6).
The key to the game was rebounding and second chance points, as West Chester won the rebounding battle, 57-24, including a 22-7 advantage on the offensive glass and turning them into 35 second chance points. The Golden Rams also had a large advantage at the foul line, going 24-of-33 from the charity stripe while the Wildcats only went 8-of-12 in the game.
West Chester's first three-pointer of the game gave them a 9-0 lead, forcing head coach Dan Burke and the Wildcats into a 30-second timeout. The Wildcats got on the board with 16:46 left to play in the half, and cut the deficit to 11-6 with a Taalib Holloman Fastbreak dunk with 15:42 to play. But the Golden Rams responded with a 9-0 run, taking a 20-6 lead with 14 minutes showing on the clock.
Another 10-0 run put the home team up 32-9 before a quick spurt by the Wildcats brought it to within 35-20. But West Chester was able to maintain the double digit lead, holding onto a 48-28 lead with 2:25 to play in the half. Jordan Harding hit back-to-back three-pointers, and then Tyler Norwood hit a long three-pointer as time expired, breathing life into the Wildcats as they went into the halftime trailing 52-38.
But the home team settled any Wildcat comeback to start the second half, hitting a three-pointer out of the gates and scoring the first seven points to regain a 59-38 lead. An old-fashioned three-point play put the Rams up 82-52, and the lead grew to as large as 34 points with 26 seconds left in the game.
Jermaine Head led the Wildcats with a game-high 26 points, hitting three three-pointers while adding five assists, four steals, and four rebounds. He is now third all-time in program history with 1,321 career points.
Jordan Harding added 19 points while hitting four three-pointers (4-for-6) and grabbing a team high five rebounds. Tyler Norwood was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 10 points, adding two rebounds and two assists.
The Wildcats are done for the month of November and return in December with Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play. They open the CACC slate on the road at Jefferson on Tuesday, December 3, and then are back home on Saturday, December 7 against Holy Family.