NEWARK, Del. - - A second half turnaround carried LIU Post to an 87-69 nonconference victory over the Wilmington University women's basketball team on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
Despite the Wildcats (2-5) leading by four points at the halftime break, it was a 19-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters that helped the Pioneers to the nonconference victory.
Precious Palmer put in a layup from Macy Robinson to put the Wildcats ahead, 53-48, with 5:02 left in the third quarter. But the Pioneers scored the final 12 points of the third quarter and started the fourth quarter with the first seven points before the Wildcats finally broke the 19-0 run with 8:06 left in the fourth. By then, the Pioneers had opened a 67-53 lead.
Emma Matthews laid one home with 3:16 left in regulation to cut the deficit to 11 points, but that would be as close as the Wildcats would get the rest of the way, as the Pioneers pulled away late for before settling on the 87-69 final score.
Up until the 19-0 run in the third quarter, the Wildcats controlled the contest. They were down 12-6 midway through the first quarter, but a Nyree Grant old fashioned three-point play eventually tied the game, 15-15, with 2:47 showing on the clock. Macy Robinson tied the game at 18-18 with a three-point before Grant converted another layup for the Wildcats' first lead, 20-18. Grant then scored the final four points of the quarter to give the Wildcats a 24-20 lead after one.
Robinson gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the game with another three-pointer, 30-24, with 7:54 left to play in the half. Matthews kept the Pioneers at an arms length with a three-pointer of her, 41-36, with 2:01 left before the teams went into the half with the Wildcats on top, 43-39.
Matthews hit a three-pointer with 6:40 to play in the third quarter to give the home team a 49-43 lead before Precious Palmer kept the Wildcats in front, 53-48, with a layup with 5:02 showing on the clock. But then it was all LIU Post from there.
The Wildcats were haunted by shooting 34.6 percent from the floor in the second half, as compared to shooting 48.5 percent in the first half. LIU Post shot 44.7 percent from the floor in the final two quarters.
The Pioneers out-rebounded the Wildcats, 55-28, in the game, including a 26-6 advantage on the offensive glass. That led to 33 second-chance points for the Pioneers, and a 42-28 advantage on points in the paint.
Palmer led the Wildcats with 20 points while Grant came off the bench to score 14 and add eight rebounds. Matthews and Robinson added 10 points each. The Pioneers' Sasha Patterson scored 27 points with 14 rebounds, 11 of which came on the offensive glass.
The Wildcats open Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play with their next contest, as they welcome Holy Family to the WU Athletics Complex on Tuesday night. The women start the CACC doubleheader with an opening tip at 6 p.m., followed by the men at approximately 8 p.m.