Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Macy Robinson by Frank Stallworth.
BUCKHANNON, W. Va. - - Trailing by 11 points at the halftime break, the Wilmington University women's basketball team made a late game charge, forcing the game into overtime before West Virginia Wesleyan pulled it out, 88-86, on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats (4-2) had an opportunity at the end of overtime to tie of take the lead, but Ebonee Dixon's reverse layup was off the mark, and the Wildcats couldn't get a final shot off in the final 1.6 seconds.
The Bobcats (1-3) led by as many as 13 points in the first half, outscoring the Wildcats, 27-15, in the second quarter to go into the halftime break with a 46-35 advantage. The Wildcats cut into the deficit with a 17-9 third quarter, and tied the match at the end of regulation by outscoring the Bobcats, 23-20, in the fourth quarter.
Tenicia Spence gave the Wildcats their first lead of the second half with a layup with 8:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. A pair from the foul line from Jocelyn Rodriguez put the Wildcats ahead, 65-59, before Lindsay Bradford kept the Bobcats at an arm's reach with a layup, 69-63, with 3:42 to play.
Five straight points form the foul line for the Bobcats brought the home team back to within one with two minutes remaining, before a three-pointer tied the match at 71-71 with 1:39 left. Bradford put the Wildcats ahead once again, 73-71, with a pair from the foul line, but four straight from the foul line again for the Bobcats put the home team back on top, 75-73.
Zameria Jones drove to the bucket with less than 30 seconds left, but the ball rimmed out and into the hands of the Bobcats. But Jones kept with it, ripping the ball away on the rebound and converting the extra chance to tie the game, 75-75, with 19 seconds left in regulation. The defense then hung on as the Bobcats had a pair of opportunities to win the game at the other end, getting an offensive rebound and put back chance, both of which were off the mark.
Spence hit the first bucket of the overtime period before the Bobcats scored four-straight to retake a 79-77 advantage. Macy Robinson grabbed an offensive rebound and put back a layup to give the Wildcats an 81-80 lead with 1:25 to play, but back-to-back buckets by the Bobcats allowed the home team to regain the lead, 84-81, with 48 seconds on the clock.
Trailing by three out of a timeout, Spence nailed a three-pointer from the left corner, knotting the game at 86-86 with 12 seconds left in regulation. But the senior than fouled the Bobcats as they crossed the half court timeline, putting the home team back on the foul line. Alexa Szelong calmly sank the two free throws to put the Bobcats back on top.
Dixon drove the right lane and had a look at the bucket, going reverse to try and tie the game, but her effort was off the mark, going out of bounds off the Bobcats with 1.6 seconds left on the clock. The Wildcats inbounded the ball, but couldn't get a shot off as time expired.
Spence led the Wildcats with 26 points, shooting 11-of-20 from the field, including 4-for-6 from deep. Robinson added 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting while grabbing a team high 11 rebounds for the double-double. Rodriguez scored 12 points and added eight rebounds while Jones chipped in with 12 points off the bench.
The Bobcats went 24-of-37 from the foul line for the game while the Wildcats shot 9-of-13 from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats remain on the road when they open Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play on Wednesday, December 2. The Wildcats head to Philadelphia to play the University of the Sciences, opening the CACC doubleheader at 6:00 p.m.