The newly nationally No. 25 ranked University of the Sciences got off to a hot start in the first half and never looked back, downing the Wilmington University men's basketball team, 88-59, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action at the WU Athletics Complex on Tuesday night.
Ranked No. 25 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II National Poll for the first time in school history did not slow down the Devils (19-4, 13-2 CACC) as they remain atop the CACC South Division.
The Wildcats (8-17, 7-9 CACC) dropped their second game in a row after a four-game winning streak, but still remain 1.5 games ahead of Goldey-Beacom for fourth in the South Division.
Kevin Ohen converted a traditional three-point play at the 13:03 mark of the first half to bring the Wildcats to within 15-12, but that is when the Devils caught fire. The Devils' Sho Da-Silva and Kerr scored all 18 points of an 18-0 run over the course of 6:41 of game play to give the visitors a commanding 33-12 lead with 6:22 left in the half. Kerr and Da'Silva shot 5-of-8 from the field and 7-of-7 from the foul line during the stretch.
Da-Silva put home an offensive rebound as the buzzer sounded to give the Devils a 50-22 lead at the halftime break.
The second half lead ballooned to as large as 34 points at 85-51 as the Wildcats could never get the deficit back under 20 points in the second stanza.
Valentino Thompson led the Wildcats with 13 points while shooting 5-of-9 from the floor, finishing as the lone Wildcat to reach double figures. Drew Johnson grabbed six rebounds, five of which came off the offensive glass, to lead the Wildcats.
The Devils' Kerr scored 27 of his game high 33 in the first half to carry the Devils, securing his NCAA Division II leading 21st double-double of the season with 11 rebounds. Da-Silva finished with 20 off the bench while younger brother Flo Da-Silva added 13.
The Devils shot 63 percent (17-of-27) from the floor in the first half and finished at 57.7 percent (30-for-52) for the game. The Wildcats hit 24-for-60 from the floor (40.0 percent) while going 5-of-15 from three-point territory.
The Wildcats hit the road for their next two games, heading to Felician on Saturday and a crucial contest at Goldey-Beacom next Tuesday.