WALTHAM, Mass. - - The second half of the 2019-20 Wilmington University men's basketball season opener did not go the Wildcats' way, as Bentley turned on the jets and defeated the Wildcats, 109-74, on Friday night inside the Charles A. Dana Center.
The Wildcats (0-1) hit nine three-pointers in the first half and only trailed the Falcons (1-0), 48-42, at the halftime break. But the Falcons came out of the break and shot 66.7 percent from the floor, including 10-of-17 of three-point territory, in the second half to lead the team to the season opening win. The Falcons won the second half, 61-32.
Jermaine Head converted an old fashioned three-point play early in the first half to put he Wildcats up 14-8, and then hit a three-pointer to put the visitors up 17-9 with 15:56 to play in the opening 20:00 minutes. But that 8-point lead would be the largest of the night for the Wildcats, as the Falcons would battle back and eventually tie the game at 27-27.
The Wildcats led 27-22 after a Jordan Harding three-point with 12:22 left in the half, but the Falcons went on a 12-0 run to bolt out to a 34-27 lead with 8:57 left in the half. Down 45-34 late in the half, the Wildcats used a three-pointer from Danny Walsh, a jumper from Head, and another three-pointer by Tyler Norwood to close the gap to 45-42. But the Falcons scored the final three points to head into the break leading 48-42.
A quick 8-0 spurt early in the second half gave the home team a 58-44 lead. A Norwood jumper kept the Wildcats within 12 at 65-53, but then the Falcons rattled off 18 straight to take a commanding 83-53 lead with 10:17 left in the game. The run spanned a 3:45 stretch of game time for the Falcons, as the home team never looked back.
Bentley hit the 100-point mark with 4:37 left in regulation and eventually lead by as many as 38 late in the game.
Jermaine Head led the Wildcats with 21 points, shooting 9-of-14 from the floor while adding five assists. Tyler Norwood added 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting, while Isaiah Daniels-Porter scored 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting in his first collegiate contest. Jordan Harding led the team with seven rebounds.
The Wildcats shot 42.6 percent from the floor for the game, including 13-for-38 from three-point territory, but the Falcons hit 16 three-pointers and finished with 56.6 percent shooting from the floor for the game. The Falcons also out-rebounded the Wildcats, 53-23. Bentley's Jordan Mello-Klein finished with a triple-double, scoring 13 points while adding 11 rebounds and 15 assists.
The Wildcats are back in action on Saturday, as they square off against St. Anselm preseason No. 12 St. Anselm to close out the season opening tournament. The opening tip is set for 3:00 p.m.