ORANGEBURG, N.Y. - - An untimely poor shooting night resulted in the Wilmington University men's basketball team being eliminated from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament, falling to Dominican in the First Round, 86-57, on Tuesday night at the Hennessy Center.
Despite a slow start to the game, the CACC South Division's third seeded Wildcats (16-13) closed to within a single point at the halftime break, but it was the North Division's number two seed Dominican (20-9) that charged ahead in the second half. The Chargers scored 56 points on 53.8 percent from the floor in the second half.
Trailing by as large as 14-4 early, as 23-15 with 5:19 left in the half, the Wildcats fought back with an 11-2 spurt, aided by three three-pointers, to take a 26-25 lead with 2:31 before the break. The teams traded threes and the Wildcats led, 29-28, as late as 1:10 left in the first half. The Chargers scored the final bucket of the half to take a 30-39 lead into the locker room.
The second half was tight through the first 10 minutes, as the Wildcats continued to answer each Charger bucket to remain close. The Chargers led 46-36 with 14:08 showing on the clock, but the Wildcats fought back with a 12-7 run to claw back to with five points at 53-48. Paul Medlin completed an old fashioned three-point play with 9:42 left to get the Wildcats as close as they've been since the 14:59 mark.
The Wildcats wouldn't score again for nearly three minutes of game time.
During that span, the Chargers put five points on the board to lead 58-48 with 7:09 to play. Another 7-0 run put the home team ahead, 65-50, before a game deciding 11-0 spurt pushed the Chargers' lead out to 76-52 with 2:28 left in regulation.
The Wildcats shot 9-of-25 from the floor, including just 2-of-10, from beyond the three-point arc, in the second half, finishing the game with a 33.9 percent shooting percentage. They also turned the ball over 19 times, leading to 17 Charger points at the other end. Seventeen Charger offensive rebounds resulted in 19 second chance points as well.
Jermaine Head led the Wildcats with 22 points, adding four rebounds and four assists. Nick Richards scoured 16 points while adding nine rebounds and three steals. Miles Gillette was the final Wildcat in double digits with 11 points, adding six rebounds.
The 2018 senior class helped lead the Wildcat program to back-to-back CACC Tournament appearances for the first time in program history. Nick Richards finished his two-year career with 982 points.