NEWARK, Del. - - A second half defensive clamp down aided in the Wilmington University men's basketball team to an 88-71 victory over Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference North Division foe Concordia on Saturday at the WU Athletics Complex.
With the win, and a Georgian Court loss to Post, the Wildcats are now a half-game in front of the Lions and in third place in the South Division with three games to play in the regular season.
After a slow start, the Wildcats (9-16, 7-9 CACC) offense woke up as well in the second half, turning a three-point halftime deficit into a 53-33 second half advantage and a 17-point victory. The Clippers (5-19, 4-11 CACC) shot 54.8 percent from the floor in the first half, but was held to just 35.5 percent from the floor (0-for-10 form three) in the second half.
With the game tied at 8-8, the Clippers went on a 9-0 run to take what would be their largest lead of the game. Another layup put the visitors back up nine, 21-12, with 9:50 left in the first half before the Wildcats cut into the deficit. Kam Cooper and Jordan Harding hit back-to-back three-pointers to start the run before Jermaine Head hit a three-pointer with 5:54 to give the Wildcats a 23-22 lead. The Wildcats led by as many as three late in the half on a Danny Walsh three-pointer, 29-26, and as late as 2:19 after a Head free throw, 33-30. But the Clippers scored six-straight to regain the lead and hit the final bucket of the half to take a 38-35 lead into the break.
The Wildcats went on a 10-2 run out of the locker room, aided by a Jordan Harding dunk and a Jermaine Head layup to take a 45-40 lead with 14:46 showing on the clock. The Clippers were able to hang close, getting to within as few as two points on multiple occasions. Leading 49-47, the Wildcats used a Jermaine Head old fashioned three-point play to spark an 8-0 run, getting a three and a fastbreak dunk from Taalib Holloman to go up 57-47 with 10:13 to play.
Another Holloman dunk, followed by a three-point play by Kam Cooper, sparked a 7-0 spurt to give the Wildcats a 69-55 with 7:11 left on the clock. The lead continued to balloon for the Wildcats, as another 9-2 run gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the night, a 22-point lead, 86-64 with 2:17 left in regulation.
Jermaine Head led the Wildcats with 31 points (21 in the second half), shooting 10-of-20 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the foul line, adding six assists and five steals. Taalib Holloman finished with 19 points (11 in the second half) and five rebounds while Kam Cooper scored 15 points in the second half to finish with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, hitting four three-pointers. Jordan Harding scored 12 points and grabbed a team high nine rebounds.
The Wildcats turned 24 Concordia turnovers into 34 points at the other end. The Clippers shot 2-of-14 from beyond the three-point arc for the contest.
The Wildcats have a midweek bye and return to action next Saturday when they head to USciences for an afternoon contest. The opening tip if set for 3:00 p.m. in Philadelphia.