The Bloomfield College men's basketball team finished on top, 76-66, in the back and forth battle with Wilmington University in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Saturday afternoon at The Gym.
The Wildcats (3-10, 2-3 CACC) held a 30-27 lead at the halftime break and led with as late as 4:30 remaining in regulation before the Bears (4-7, 3-2 CACC) battled back and then sank free throws down the stretch to earn the victory.
Despite leading for 18:33 of game play, the Wildcats couldn't put the Bears away as the home team fought back as the lead changed hands on 12 occasions and was tied nine more times throughout the afternoon.
Tied at 25 in the first half, Valentino Thompson hit a three-pointer before picking up a steal and fast break layup to lead 30-25 with 40 seconds left in the half. Following a pair of Bear free throws, the Wildcats went into the halftime break with a 30-27 lead.
The sixth tie of the game came with 17:18 left in regulation before the Bears took a brief three-point lead moments later. An 11-2 Wildcat run capped by another Thompson three-pointer gave the Wildcats a 46-40 lead with 13:56 showing on the scoreboard.
But the Bears came back once again, eventually tying the game at 46 before the Wildcats went on another run. This time a Thompson three-pointer sparked a 7-0 Wildcat spurt as a pair of free throws by Sam Sanders gave the visitors its largest lead of the game at 53-46 with 10:25 to play.
Still leading by seven against a Sanders layup with 10:03 to play, the Bears made a final push and eventually tied the game at 57-57 with 7:36 on the first of two free throws by Matt Hall. The Bears Marvin Williams then gave the home team a five point lead with a three-pointer, their largest lead of the second half to that point.
An old fashioned three-point play by Kevin Ohen regained the lead for the Wildcats, 66-64, with 4:49 to play but Claude Blue tied the game for the ninth time at 66 with 4:29 to play. Nearly two minutes later, Blue point home a layup in the paint for another Bears' lead; a lead they would not give up.
The Wildcats went 0-6 from the floor in the final 4:07 after the Bears tied the game at 66-66. They also committed three turnovers during that span. The Bears went 6-of-7 from the foul line down the stretch to lead to the 10-point victory.
Thompson led the Wildcats with 18 points, hitting three three-points while shooting 6-of-11 from the floor and adding a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line. Ohen added 13 points and eight rebounds while Sanders added 10 points off the bench. Thompson led the team with three steals while also dishing out a pair of assists. Rashaun Rasheed tied Ohen for the team lead with eight rebounds.
The Wildcats went 10-of-11 from the foul line but the Bears went 23-of-32 from the charity stripe en route to the victory. The Wildcats shot 35.6 percent from the floor and only 4-of-18 from deep while the Bears shot 41.7 percent from the floor and 3-of-16 from deep in the game.
Wilmington will look to end its four-game losing streak when it returns to action and the WU Athletics Complex on Wednesday against CACC South Division rival Philadelphia. The men start a CACC doubleheader at 6 p.m.