NEWARK, Del. - - A 16-point second quarter deficit was too much to overcome for the Wilmington University women's basketball team, as its second half comeback fell just short, 88-84, to Post at the WU Athletics Complex in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference cross-divisional action on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats (6-20, 3-14 CACC) battle all the way back to tie the game early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't get over the hump late in the game, as Post (7-16, 6-11 CACC) escaped with the victory to keep their CACC postseason hopes alive.
The Eagles used a 21-12 second quarter advantage to take a 40-27 lead into the halftime break. But the Wildcats fought back in the third frame.
Still down 13 as late as 3:08 in the quarter, The Wildcats went on a 13-4 run to close out the quarter and get to within 56-52. Emma Matthews hit a three-pointer during the run before Nyree Grant laid in two buckets in the final minute to close the gap to four points after three quarters of play.
The run continued into the fourth quarter, as Jadyn Whitsitt started the frame with a layup before Matthews tied the game at 56 with another bucket in the opening minutes.
The Eagles answered with a three-pointer to regain the lead and hit another with 8:12 left to take a 62-58 lead. Macy Robinson hit a three-pointer on the ensuing possession to close the gap to one point, but that would be as close as the Wildcats could get until the final minute. A 6-0 Eagles run extended the lead out to seven, 68-61, and Post continued to push to make it 79-70 with 1:48 showing on the clock.
Mikala Casimir started a last ditch effort comeback with a layup before Grant put in an offensive rebound to close to within 83-80 with less than 20 seconds left. Grant and Casimir continued to make layups to stay within two points, but the Eagles kept hitting their free throws at the other end.
Post made 15-of-18 from the foul line in the fourth quarter alone, including 11-of-12 in the final two minutes of action.
The Wildcats outshot the Eagles, 50.7 percent to 47.7 percent from the field, but the Eagles held the advantage at the foul line, 20-of-24 to 5-of-8. The Eagles also out rebounded the Wildcats, 43-21.
Grant and Whitsitt led the Wildcats with 22 points and six rebounds each, as Grant added four assists, three steals, and two blocked shots as well. Macy Robinson hit three three-pointers and finished with 17 points, three rebounds, and three assists while Matthews added 13 points and six assists in the loss.
The Wildcats hit the road for the final time of the 2017-18 season on Wednesday, as they head to South Division foe Georgian Court for a South Division clash. They start the CACC doubleheader with a 6:00 p.m. tip-off.