NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University women's basketball team had the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference North Division leaders Caldwell on the ropes, but the Cougars remained undefeated in league play with a strong second half in taking down the Wildcats, 87-76, on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (6-12, 3-6 CACC) led throughout the first half, taking as large as a nine-point lead with 1:55 left in the second quarter. But the Cougars (14-3, 9-0 CACC) came out of the break and scored 61 points in the second half, taking the lead for good with 3:04 remaining in the third quarter.
Play picked up in the second quarter, with the Wildcats leading 10-6 following the first 10 minutes of play. Macy Robinson continued her hot first half with a three-pointer to open the second quarter before buckets from Jasmine Lee and Ebonee Dixon and a free throw from Dixon to take an 18-11 lead.
The Cougars closed to within 24-21 but the Wildcats received three layups from Dixon, Lee and Jocelyn Rodriguez to take their largest lead of the first half, 30-21, with 1:55 left in the half. But the Cougars responded with the final five points of the half to seize momentum going into the half with the Wildcats on top, 30-26.
The Wildcats scored seven of the first nine points of the third quarter with Robinson hitting a three-pointer to put the Wildcats in front by nine once more, 37-28. Caldwell turned it on from there, however, scoring nine straight to tie the game at 37 with 6:57 to left in the third. LaShyra Williams answered with an old fashioned three-point play before Jamiere Jefferies laid one home to regain a 42-37 lead for the Wildcats. But once again, the Cougars fought back, using a 6-0 run to take their first lead, 43-42.
The teams went on the seesaw until the Cougars broke the trend with a layup, 49-46. Williams answered the Caldwell three with a three of her own with under a minute to play in the quarter but the Cougars got the last say in the quarter, converting a layup for the 56-53 lead.
The Cougars struck first in the fourth to take a five-point lead, and the Wildcats could only get the gap under five-points once the rest of the game as the Cougars began to pull away. Robinson hit a three-pointer to bring the home team to within 75-68, but the Cougars hit a layup and a three-pointer to take their largest lead of the game, 80-68, with 2:40 left in regulation.
Robinson finished with her second double-double of the year, pouring in team highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds. She shot 5-of-10 from the floor, hitting 4-of-8 from long distance. She also finished with a game high seven assists. Williams shot 8-of-12 from the floor for 20 points while Dixon came off the bench to score 13 points.
The Wildcats will look to end their three-game skid with another home game on Tuesday, as they welcome USciences to the Complex for their final home game of January. The women will begin the doubleheader with a 6:00 p.m. tip-off.