A six point halftime lead by the Wilmington University men's basketball team was quickly erased at the start of the second half as Philadelphia earned the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference comeback victory, 68-62, at the WU Athletics Complex on Wednesday night.
The scored was tied on 10 separate occasions in the first half before the Wildcats (3-12, 2-5 CACC) went on a 10-4 run over the final six minutes of the first half to take their largest lead of the game into the break.
But the Rams (9-4, 4-1 CACC) got off to a 9-2 run to start the second half to take their first lead of the second half; continuing with a 24-8 run over the first 8:21 of the half to lead by 10.
A pair of free throws and a bucket by Tyrik Gass brought the Wildcats to within six, but Gass missed the ensuing free throw as he was fouled to keep the score at 48-42 with 11:14 to play.
Valentino Thompson pushed the pace and scored after a missed shot by the Rams to bring the Wildcats back within four with 9:32 before Gass' putback with 8:46 to play again brought the Wildcats to within four with 8:46 to play. But the Rams used a 7-2 run to widen the lead back out to nine points with 4:49 remaining and still held a nine-point lead with 2:53 to play.
Jumpers by Sam Sanders and Shai Henry had the deficit at five with 1:15 to play before a Thompson three-pointer brought the Wildcats to within four with 40 seconds on the scoreboard.
A Shai Henry jumper had the Wildcats to within four again with 30 seconds to play but a missed layup to cut the game to a single possession with 13 seconds left doomed the Wildcats as the Rams escaped with the six-point victory.
Thompson led the Wildcats with 12 points while dishing out five assists. Sanders added 10 points while Henry contributed nine. Gass added eight points and five rebounds while Taj Almon scored seven points and grabbed nine rebounds in the first half.
The Rams' Nick Schlitzer was held to two points in the first half but erupted for 18 in the second half, hitting four three-pointers to lead the Rams' comeback. Andre Gibbs finished with 18 while TJ Huggins added 13 and Peter Alexis finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Rams shot 49.1 percent from the field for the game, much in large part to their 57.1 percent shooting in the second half. The Wildcats shot 49.1 percent from the floor, 40 percent in the second half.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday as they host cross-town rival Goldey-Beacom at the WU Athletics Complex. The two will cap a CACC doubleheader with the opening tip at approximately 3 p.m.