Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Tyaire Ponzo-Meek by Megan Teat.
NEWARK, Del. - - A second half push allowed Chestnut Hill to down the Wilmington University men's basketball team, 81-69, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division action at the WU Athletics Complex on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats (4-7, 0-4 CACC) scored the final five points of the first half, including a buzzer beating three-pointer by Omari Dill-Pettiford before carrying the momentum into the second half. Drew Johnson gave the Wildcats the lead once more, 40-38, with a jumper to make it a 7-0 run spanning the halftime break.
Still leading by one, Dill-Pettiford again put in a layup before Tyaire Ponzo-Meek drained a three-pointer with 14:55 to play to open the home team's largest lead of the game, 52-46.
Paul Medlin made the second of his two from the foul line to keep the Wildcats in front, 53-48, but that is when the Griffins (4-6, 2-2 CACC) made their move. Luke Dickson bookended a 15-0 run by the visitors, as they turned the five point deficit into a 10-point lead, 63-53, with 7:38 showing on the scoreboard.
Ta'Vaune Griffin put back an offensive rebound to cut the deficit to 65-58 with 4:15 to play in regulation, but the Wildcats couldn't get any closer than the seven-point deficit the rest of the way.
An old-fashioned three-point play gave the Griffins a 10-point advantage once again and the Wildcats could only close the gap to as few as eight points before settling on the final score, 81-69.
The Griffins were trailing 33-29 late in the first half before rattling off nine straight, capping it with another Dickson three-pointer to take a 38-33 lead with 50 seconds left. Ponzo-Meek came flying in for an offensive rebound and put-back before Dill-Pettiford earned a steal and a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded, tying the game at 38 going into the halftime break.
Ponzo-Meek led the Wildcats offensively with 21 points while also adding seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks. Brian Adkins scored 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting while also grabbing five boards. Dill=Pettiford came off the bench to score 16 points, adding four assists and two steals as well. Griffin led the Wildcats with nine rebounds, adding seven points and a blocked shot.
Dickson and Edward McWade led a quartet of Griffins in double digits, each scoring 21 points for the visitors. Dickson went 5-of-9 from three-point territory.
The Wildcats will look to snap their six-game losing streak with their final game of 2015, as they host crosstown rival Goldey-Beacom in another CACC South Division contest on Sunday. The men are the nightcap of the CACC doubleheader, starting at 3:00 p.m.