BUFFALO, N.Y. - - Looking for its first win of the 2019-20 season, the Wilmington University men's basketball team took No. 10 Daemen to the wire but Daemen took the final lead with 32 seconds left to steal an 83-81 victory at the KeyBank Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats (0-5) led by six points with 4:43 to play in regulation, but Daemen (7-1) made a late charge and took a 79-76 lead with 1:44 showing on the clock. Jermaine Head hit a three-pointer to tie the game, and then another floater in the lane to regain an 81-79 lead with 40 seconds to play. But Daemen came down and hit a long-distance three-pointer with 32 seconds left, taking the lead for good.
The Wildcats led for the majority of the game, holding the advantage for 22:16 of game-time. Daemen, ranked #10 in the latest D2SIDA National Poll and #17 in the latest NABC Coaches Poll, led by as many as nine points with 14:34 to play in the first half before Wilmington began to take charge.
Still down five, Jordan Harding started a 9-2 run with back-to-back three pointers before Tyler Norwood hit another gave the Wildcats a 28-26 with 5:12 left before break. Another 7-0 run pushed the Wildcats ahead 35-28 on a Norwood three-pointer. Danny Walsh kept the Wildcats up 40-33 with a three-pointer with 1:35 left but Daemen finished out the half on a 4-0 run, as the Wildcats went into the break leading 40-37.
Daemen fought all the way back early in the second half, taking a 53-51 lead with 12:10 showing on the clock. Jermaine Head came up with a steal and a fastbreak layup to give the Wildcats a 61-55 lead with 10:55 before Kam Cooper gave the visitors another seven-point lead with a three-pointer with 9:28 left. Taalib Holloman's dunk kept the league at seven, 69-62, with 7:47 left, but then Daemen started to chip away.
Two-time National Player of the Week Andrew Sischo laid in back-to-back layups to tie the game, 74-74.
Daemen hit a three-pointer with 1:44 to take a 79-76 lead, but Head responded with a three-pointer of his own to retie the game, 79-79, with 1:16 on the clock. Danny Walsh drew an offensive foul to get the ball back, and Jermaine Head put the team ahead with the floater in the lane.
Daemen hit the three to take the lead, and then the ensuing Wildcat possession resulted in a turnover. Daemen hit one of two from the foul line to extend the lead out to 83-81, but an offensive rebound on the second free throw ended the Wildcats' chances.
Jermaine Head led the Wildcats with 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting, adding a game high six rebounds and four steals as well. Danny Walsh hit four three-pointers and finished with 19 points and six rebounds while Jordan Harding scored 11 points and added five rebounds. Kam Cooper came off the bench and scored 10 points and added a team high seven rebounds.
The Wildcats remain on the road for their next contest, as they head to West Chester on Wednesday night. The opening tip is set for 7:00 p.m.