BLOOMFIELD, N.J. - - In a matchup of the two divisional leaders in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, the size of Bloomfield got the better of the Wilmington University men's basketball team, 86-64, on Tuesday night at The Gym.
The North Division leading Bears (10-6, 5-2 CACC) out-rebounded the Wildcats (11-6, 6-2 CACC), 54-39, and made 22 more trips to the foul line over the course of the game. The Wildcats shot 23-of-72 (31.9 percent) from the floor while the Bears shot 30-of-70 (42.9 percent) from the floor and 24-of-38 from the foul line.
Another slow start put the Wildcats behind early once again, but this time the deficit was too steep to overcome. Leading 4-3 early in game, the tables turned on the Wildcats, as the Bears went on a 20-4 run to take a 23-8 lead with 7:27 to play in the first half. The lead grew to 31-10 before the Wildcats scored seven straight to close to within 31-17. Tyaire Ponzo-Meek was able to pick off a pass and take it the length of the court for a layup to beat the buzzer, trailing the Bears, 39-24, at the half.
A 9-4 run brought the Wildcats to within 54-39, before another 6-0 spurt had the visitors as close as they've been since early in the first half at 63-49, with 9:10 to play in regulation. Nick Richards brought the game to within 14-points again with 6:14 left but the Bears answered with a 8-0 run of their own, taking their largest lead of the game, 79-57.
Richards finished with a team high 17 points while also grabbing eight rebounds. Ponzo-Meek added 14 points with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Tajee Almon grabbed a team high nine rebounds while Brian Adkins hit three three-pointers off the bench for nine points.
A pair of Bears recorded double-doubles, paced by Nick Davidson's 31 points and 13 rebounds. Rakwan Kelly added 16 points and 13 rebounds for the double-double as well. Marcus Fleming scored 14 points and added seven rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Wildcats, now putting them in a three-way tie for first place with Goldey-Beacom and Philadelphia in the South Division.
The Wildcats will look to get back in the win column when they return home to face Caldwell on Saturday. The men will follow the women's game with an approximate start time of 3:00 p.m.