Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of the team against Philadelphia, taken by Frank Stallworth.
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - Five players score double digits but the Wilmington University men's basketball team can't overcome a slow start and the hot shooting of USciences, 91-80, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference loss on Tuesday night inside Bobby Morgan Arena.
The Wildcats (5-4, 1-1 CACC) hit 13 three-pointers in the game, but the Devils (2-9, 1-3 CACC) shot 57.9 percent from the floor for the game, including a 21-of-30 performance in the first half, for the victory. A late game comeback had the Wildcats in the contest in the final minutes, but the first half deficit was too much to overcome.
The first half was the Will Gregorits show for the Devils, as he claimed a double-double in the first 20 minutes. He finished the first half with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting, hitting his lone three pointer and all three of his free throws. He also secured 10 rebounds, five of which came off the offensive glass.
USciences' lead ballooned to as large as 20 points in the first half at 43-23. The home team went into the halftime break leading 51-35.
The three-pointers started to fall for the Wildcats in the second half, as they began to climb back into the contest. The Wildcats held the Devils to nine points in the first eight minutes of the second half, getting to within 60-49 with less than 12 minutes to play.
Back-to-back layups from Nick Richards and Brian Adkins had the Wildcats to within single digits before an Adkins three-points brought the Wildcats all the way back to within 67-62 with 9:03 showing on the clock.
But for every punch the Wildcats threw at the Devils in the second half, the Devils had a retaliation. Drew Johnson hit a three-pointer to get the Wildcats to within 72-65, but the Devils bounced right back with a three of their own to regain a 10-point lead. Adkins hit another three-pointer with 4:49 to play to close the gap to seven points once again, but the Devils answered again with a three of their own for the 10-point lead once more.
Tyaire Ponzo-Meek laid one home before Richards converted an old fashioned three-point play to get the game to within 78-73 with 3:20 left, but once again the Devils fought back with a 7-0 spurt to put the game away.
The Wildcats hit eight three-points in the second half, finishing 13-of-29 from deep for the game. They also shot 42.4 percent from the floor, but couldn't find a way to stop the Devils.
Richards led the Wildcats with 17 points while Johnson and Omari Dill-Pettiford added 13 points each. Ponzo-Meek finished with 10 points while Adkins came off the bench to hit four three-pointers and score 14 points.
The Wildcats will look to get back into the win column on Saturday when they travel to CACC South Division foe Georgian Court for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off.