Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Omari Dill-Pettiford against Shippensbrug. Taken by Frank Stallworth.
NEWARK, Del. - - A strong second half allowed Shippensburg to take down the Wilmington University men's basketball team, 88-72, in nonconference action at the WU Athletics Complex on Sunday afternoon.
The Wildcats (4-3) were able to close the gap to a single point at the halftime break, but the Red Raiders (4-2) stormed out of the gates in the second half to seize control.
For the second game in a row the Wildcats beat the halftime buzzer in fashion, getting a fast break dunk to head into the locker room trailing by one, 44-43. Sunday it was Brian Adkins that received the pass from over the top by Drew Johnson II, flushing it home as time expired.
But the Red Raiders used a 6-0 spurt to start the second half, opening up a 50-43 lead in the first three minutes. Still leading by seven, the visitor rattled off another six straight to take their first double digit lead of the afternoon, 59-48, with 12:55 left in regulation.
Shippensburg answered every Wildcat bucket with a basket of their own, not allowing the lead get back into the single digits. Following a Tyaire Ponzo-Meek three-pointer to cut the deficit to 11, the Red Raiders scored three straight baskets to open their largest lead at 77-60 with 5:44 to play.
Shippensburg was able to do damage from the foul line, shooting 19-for-29 from the charity stripe, including 13-for-21 in the second half. At the other end, the Wildcats could only get to the line nine times, making five.
Both squads made 30 baskets, as the Wildcats shot 30-for-69 from the floor, including 7-for-24 from three-point range. The Red Raiders shot 30-for-64 from the floor, hitting 9-of-18 from deep.
The Wildcats were once again out rebounded on Sunday, 49-35, as the Red Raiders were able to grab 16 offensive rebounds.
Ponzo-Meek led the Wildcats with 21 points, shooting 9-for-20 from the floor and going 2-for-6 from outside the arc. The junior also finished with a team high nine rebounds. Omari Dill-Pettiford came off the bench to score 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting while Joseph Richards added 11 points off the bench, hitting 3-of-6 from deep. Ta'Vaune Griffin scored nine points and added seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
Shippensburg was led by a career high 24 points from Abe Massaley while Dustin Sleva collected a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Antonio Kellem chipped in with 11 points as well.
The Wildcats open their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference slate this week, as they head to Philadelphia to take on USciences on Wednesday. The men follow the women's game and will start at approximately 8:00 p.m.