Video recap at bottom of the page.
Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Macy Robinson taken by Frank Stallworth.
NEWARK, Del. - - Rob Miller knows how to beat Philadelphia.
For the first time since the Wilmington University women's head coach was in his first tenure with the Wildcats in 2008-09, the women's basketball team took down the Rams on Saturday, 63-60, in the team's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener at the WU Athletics Complex.
In between the Wildcats' 60-59 victory at Philadelphia on January 29, 2009, and Saturday afternoon, the Wildcats dropped 15 consecutive games to the Rams, extending their all-time lead to 20-5 against Wilmington.
The streak is no more.
The Wildcats (3-5, 1-0 CACC) turned a 39-33 halftime deficit around with a 16-8 third quarter advantage, eventually taking the lead on a LaShyra Williams layup, 44-43, with 2:24 left in the quarter. The layup was a part of a 9-0 run for the Wildcats, as Macy Robinson capped it with a three-pointer to grab a 49-43 lead in the final minute of the quarter. But the Rams (4-4, 1-2 CACC) scored the final four points of the frame to climb to within 49-47 heading into the final 10-minutes of action.
The Rams grabbed a 51-50 lead with a Ayoola Oguntuase layup before a quick 6-1 run put the Wildcats back in front, 56-52 with 6:04 to play on a Williams layup. The Rams struck again however, taking as large as a 60-58 lead with a Rachel Day three-pointer with 2:30 left in regulation.
Nyree Grant cut the deficit to a single point with a free throw, 60-59, but didn't take the lead until the final minute. The Rams settled for a long distanced three-pointer with the clock under 30 seconds and Robinson came down with the rebound. Robinson put an outlet to Ebonee Dixon who pushed it ahead to Grant. Grant made one more pass to Williams on the right side who laid it home for the 61-60 lead with 25 seconds left.
The defense squeezed the Rams on the ensuing possession, forcing a turnover as the seconds ticked away. Out of a timeout, Robinson was fouled by calmly hit both free throws for the three-point lead. A last ditch effort three-pointer by the Rams was off the mark, giving the Wildcats the 63-60 victory.
Williams led a quartet of Wildcats in double digits with 16 points while Grants came down with her second straight double-double, scoring 10 points and securing a game-high 17 rebounds. Robinson added 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting while Jocelyn Rodriguez chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The Wildcats out-rebounded the Rams, 47-37, including 20-15 on the offensive glass. That led to an 18-10 advantage in second chance points for the 'Cats.
The Wildcats will look to keep the momentum going in the CACC with another league match on Tuesday, as they head to USciences with a scheduled 6 p.m. tip.