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Wildcats Clinch Playoff Spot With 80-77 Win Over USciences

Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Danny Walsh who scored 22 points against USciences. Photo by Dan Lauletta. February 19, 2019 vs. #5 USciences.
Copyright 2019; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Danny Walsh who scored 22 points against USciences. Photo by Dan Lauletta. February 19, 2019 vs. #5 USciences.

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Press Release Written by Sports Information Graduate Intern MaryKate Rumbaugh

NEWARK, Del. – With an 80-77 win over USciences on Tuesday night, the Wilmington University men's basketball team clinched its spot in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference postseason for the third straight year.

Shooting 50 percent from the floor on the night, the Wildcats (11-14, 8-8 CACC) hung on against USciences (9-17, 6-11) to take the second win of the season over the Devils and clinch their spot in the CACC Tournament.

WilmU got out to a hot start shooting, as they took an 11-3 lead after three back-to-back-to-back three pointers from Jordan Harding, Danny Walsh, and Ed Henderson II to force USciences into their first timeout of the game just 3:22 into the first half of play. The men would continue to shoot and keep a 10-point lead as Thomas Farrior would get the pull up jumper to give the Wildcats a 25-15 lead with 9:47 to go until halftime.

The Devils would stick around though, as they would go on an 8-0 run to tie the game up at 31-31 with 4:51 left in the first half. Jermaine Head would give the Wildcats a little breathing room heading into halftime after making their last three shots to take a 43-37 lead into the break.

Ed Henderson would net his second three of the game in the opening seconds of play in the second half for the Wildcats before Jordan Harding gave the Wildcats back a 10-point lead on a made three pointer. WilmU would take their largest lead of the game of 14 to make it a 59-45 ball game with 15:15 to play after a Thomas Farrior layup from Jermaine Head to force the Devils into their second timeout of the half.

Coming out of the timeout, the Devils would go on a 9-0 run to diminish the Wildcats lead to 59-54 with 11:00 left to go in the half. Still sticking around, USciences would come within two of the Wildcats' 69-67 lead, but Danny Walsh and Jermaine Head found themselves a layup to sustain the Wildcats' lead. Walsh would net a big three for WilmU to make it a 76-70 game with just under four minutes to play, but the Devils would score four straight points and force the Wildcats into a timeout with just a two-point lead with 1:58 to play.

Head would get a layup out of the timeout for WilmU, but a Devils three-pointer would decrease the Wildcats lead to a single point, making it 78-77 with 20 seconds left to play in regulation. Having to foul, the Devils would put Thomas Farrior to the line with 18 seconds left, making both to give the Wildcats a three-point lead. USciences would get off one more shot, but Ed Henderson II would get a touch on the ball and the Wildcats would hang on to win it, 80-77.

Thomas Farrior and Danny Walsh would lead the Wildcats with 22 points apiece, as Farrior went 10-16 from the floor with seven assists and four steals as Walsh went 9-16, making four threes on the night. Jermaine Head would add 21 points with Ed Henderson II chipping in with nine. Jordan Harding pulled down nine rebounds for the Wildcats.

This is the Wildcats third year in a row making it to the postseason, as four teams from both the North and South Division's make it to the tournament. Their seed is yet to be determined with three games remaining.

The Wildcats are on the road Saturday when they travel to Chestnut Hill in a CACC matchup. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.