Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Macy Robinson in the fourth quarter.
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University women's basketball team survived a ferocious comeback attempt by Chestnut Hill, 70-64, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division matchup at the WU Athletics Complex on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (7-5, 2-2 CACC) led by as many as 20 points midway through the third quarter before Chestnut Hill (3-6, 1-3 CACC) fought all the way back to take the lead with 5:56 left in regulation.
A 17-8 second quarter allowed the Wildcats to head into the locker room with a 38-25 lead at the halftime break. A fast 6-1 start to the third quarter, including two jumpers by Lindsay Bradford, pushed the Wildcats' lead to 44-26 before back-to-back buckets by Jordan Hawkins and Tenicia Spence gave the home team their largest lead of the game, 48-28, with 6:48 left in the third quarter.
Still trailing by 16, the comeback started with a Griffin three-pointer with 2:13 left in the third quarter, sparking a 9-0 run to end the third and bring the visitors to within 56-49 heading into the final stanza.
Hawkins started the fourth quarter with an offensive rebound and put back layup, but then it was all Griffins as they went on a 10-0 run to take the lead. Another three-pointer started the run while a Mary Trossi layup tied the game, 58-58, before another Trossi free throw gave Chestnut Hill the lead with 5:56 to play.
But back-to-back turnovers by the Griffins allowed the Wildcats to retake the lead, as Shanique Graves hit a jumper with 4:25 showing on the clock, and the Wildcats never looked back. Carin Essex-Arline came up with a steal and a fast break layup for the three-point lead, but the true back-breaker was another steal by Essex-Arline in the full court press. Essex-Arline dished the ball to a wide open Macy Robinson for the easy layup, padding the Wildcats' lead to 69-64 with only 10 seconds left.
Ten different Wildcats scored in the contest, led by a pair with 10 points. Bradford and Robinson each scored 10 points for the Wildcats, with Robinson's coming off the bench. Spence added nine points while Essex-Arline and Hawkins each added seven points.
Hawkins again led the Wildcats with 12 rebounds, her third straight game with double digit boards. Bradford, Graves, and Essex-Arline added seven rebounds each while Essex-Arline led the effort on the offensive glass with four boards. Graves also added four assists and five steals on the night.
Tonight was the second game of a five-match home stand for the Wildcats, as they return to the WU Athletics Complex with another CACC contest on Sunday to close out the 2015 calendar year. The Wildcats will host crosstown rival Goldey-Beacom in the first of a CACC doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m.