NEWARK, Del. - - A dominating first half carried the Wilmington University women's basketball team to a 79-66 victory over visiting Lock Haven on Sunday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (4-6) came out of gates and scored 41 first half points, outscoring the Bald Eagles (1-8), 20-13, in the first quarter and 21-6 in the second quarter. Lock Haven didn't go away easily however, cutting the deficit t single digits in the fourth quarter before the Wildcats were able to regain control.
The Bald Eagles were leading 6-5 with 4:21 left in the first quarter before the Wildcats went on a run. They scored 13 straight en route to ending the quarter on a 15-7 run to hold a seven-point lead.
The second quarter got off to a slow start before Jadyn Whittsit scored the Wildcats' first bucket with 6:51 showing on the clock. Macy Robinson hit a three-pointer followed by another Whittsit layup and another Robinson three-pointer as the Wildcats led 37-17 with 2:17 before the break. That capped a 10-0 Wildcat run before Emma Matthews got in on the three-point action and finished the scoring with a free throw to go into the break lead, 41-19.
Lock Haven started its run in the third quarter, as they went on to outscore the Wildcats, 24-17, in the stanza, getting the deficit down to 15 points, 58-43, with 10 minutes to play.
The Bald Eagles clawed all the way back to within single digits in the fourth quarter, first getting as close as 64-56 with 5:55 left in regulation. Matthews hit a key three-pointer to extend the lead back out to 13 points with 5:05 to play but the Eagles wouldn't quit. The visitors got the score back to within eight points with 3:02 remaining, but couldn't get it any closer the rest of the way.
Matthews led the Wildcats with a well rounded game, pouring in a career high 26 points while adding eight assists, seven rebounds, three steals, and a blocked shot. Robinson added 21 points while hitting five three-pointers, grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Nyree Grant chipped in with 15 points, adding eight rebounds as well. Precious Palmer scored nine points while adding five assists.
The Wildcats shot 45.8 percent from the floor for the game, including hitting 8-of-18 from three-point territory. The Wildcats also hit 27-of-38 from the foul line, while the Bald Eagles only attempted 13 foul shots. Six of the team's eight three-pointers came in the first half, as the Wildcats shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half.
The Wildcats return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Tuesday as they head to Jefferson for a South Division battle. It is the final game before the Wildcats will take their NCAA Division II mandatory holiday break. The women start the CACC doubleheader with a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.