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Wildcats Maintain Early Lead to Defeat Jefferson, 69-62, in First CACC Contest

Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Frank Stallworth. December 4, 2018 vs. Jefferson.
Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Frank Stallworth. December 4, 2018 vs. Jefferson.

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Press Release Written by Sports Information Graduate Inter MaryKate Rumbaugh

NEWARK, Del. – In its first Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference matchup of the season, the Wilmington University men's basketball team came out on top against Jefferson, 69-62, Tuesday night at the WU Athletics Complex.

The Wildcats (4-3) had four players in double figures against the Rams (4-4) to help lead their team to their third straight win. Wilmington shot 46 percent from the floor to Jefferson's 36 percent.

Wilmington was able to jump out to a 10-4 start in the first five minutes to begin their lead over Jefferson. WilmU had a 17-11 lead before the Rams scored seven unanswered points to tie the game at 17 apiece with 11:37 left in the half. The Wildcats were able to answer with a Tyler Norwood made layup and a three ball from Jordan Harding to help keep the lead. The game would be tied twice throughout, but the Wildcats never trailed in the contest.

Wilmington had a 27-21 lead with 6:39 to play, but neither team would score until 2:42 when Jermaine Head hit a free throw for the one point gain. Dawson Grinnage would hit a jump shot to give the Wildcats a 30-25 lead, but Jefferson was able to net three more points to cut Wilmington's lead to 30-28 into halftime.

The Wildcats came out in the second half on a 7-0 run, holding the Rams to their first made shot 4:32 into the half. Danny Walsh's three ball would give the Wildcats their first 10-point lead of the game, before Ed Henderson got on the board and made it a 13-point game, 50-37, with 9:46 to play. Jermaine Head would give the Wildcats their largest lead of the game at 15, making it a 55-40 lead over the Rams with 6:30 left in regulation.

Down nine with 2:01 left, Jefferson's Josh Bradanese would knock down his third straight three to decrease Wilmington's lead to six, but Jermaine Head was able to answer right back with a layup. Bradanese would net another layup, before the Rams were forced to foul and put Danny Walsh to line, giving WilmU a 67-59 lead with 25 seconds left in the game.

Two more made free-throws from Head would give the Wildcats the 10-point lead, but Josh Bradanese would knock down his fourth three of the night in the final seconds to end the game 69-62.

Jermaine Head led all scorers with a double-double, scoring 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Head went 6-14 from the floor and 7-8 from the line, while knocking own three treys. Tyler Norwood, Danny Walsh, and Dawson Grinnage all chipped in with 12 points each.

Josh Bradanese had 20 points for the Rams, with Kylan Guerra adding 17.

Despite turning the ball over 12 times to Jefferson's nine, the Wildcats shot 50 percent (9-of-18) from behind the arc and 78 percent from the foul line.

The Wildcats are back at it on Saturday in another doubleheader, as they host crosstown rival Goldey-Beacom in another CACC battle. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m.