NEWARK, Del. - - The University of the Sciences battled back from a five-point deficit with 33 seconds left to stun the Wilmington University men's basketball team, 77-76, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division action on Tuesday night, hitting three free throws with 1.8 seconds left to take the lead and the game.
Jermaine Head hit a three-pointer with 40 seconds left to give the Wildcats (5-13, 3-6 CACC) a 76-71 lead, but the Devils (5-12, 3-7 CACC) came right down and hit a three-pointer of their own with 33 ticks left. The Wildcats then missed the front end of a one-and-one on two occasions, keeping the Devils in the contest late.
With three seconds showing on the clock and the ball out of bounds in their own end, the Devils passed the ball into the corner as the clock started. Jordan White pumped and then went up for the shot, but was caught across the arm and was awarded the foul for three free throws. White, an 87.2 percent free throw shooter on the year, calmly stepped to the line and hit the first two to tie the game, 76-76. After a Wilmington timeout, White again calmly hit the third free throw, giving the visitors the lead for the first time since the 6:29 mark of the second half.
The inbounds play got Danny Walsh a clean look from half court, but his long-distance attempt was off the mark and the Devils stunned the Wildcats on their home court.
Neither team could extend a lead out past three points in the first 10 minutes of the game, but then Taalib Holloman hit a three points and Jermaine Head hit a pair from the foul line to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the half, 23-16, with 7:02 left in the half. The Devils answered with an 8-0 run of their own and the teams stayed close until the Wildcats scored the final five points of the half to take a 39-34 lead into the break.
Jordan Harding hit the first attempt of the second half to give the Wildcats their largest lead of the game, 42-43, and the Wildcats were able to hang on to the single-digit lead throughout the first 11 minutes of the second half. A 5-0 devils run tied the game, 62-62, with 8:10 to play and took their first lead of the half moments later, 64-63.
Two buckets from Kam Cooper and a layup from Jermaine Head gave the Wildcats a 71-67 lead with 3:29 showing on the clock. Head then hit a three-pointer to give the Wildcats a 74-69 lead with 2:10 to play, before the final stretch.
Head led the Wildcats with 25 points, adding nine rebounds, and five assists, hitting five three-pointers. Jordan Harding made six three-pointers and scored 23 points with eight rebounds. Freshman Taalib Holloman scored 10 points as well for the Wildcats.
USciences went 17-of-17 from the foul line for the game, including 11-of-11 in the second half. The Wildcats, ranked fourth in all of NCAA DII coming into the contest in free throw percentage, went 5-of-9 for the game.
The Wildcats hit the road for their next contest, as they head to Nyack for a cross divisional game on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.