PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - A lead in the final seconds disappeared for the Wilmington University men's basketball team, as Jefferson came back and stole the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opener, 81-75, in overtime on Tuesday night inside the Gallagher Center.
Looking for their first victory of the season, the Wildcats (0-7, 0-1 CACC) led for over 32 minutes of game time, but three foul shots in the waning the seconds of regulation by the Rams (5-1, 1-0 CACC) sent the game into overtime. From there, the Rams took control, winning the extra period, 12-6, to win the game, 81-75.
The Wildcats led for the entire first half, starting with Taalib Holloman's three-pointer to start the game 29 seconds in. Tyler Norwood hit another three-pointer to take a 12-7 lead before another Holloman triple put the Wildcats up 18-11. The first six made field goals by the Wildcats were all from three-point land.
An Isaiah Daniels-Porter put-back layup gave the Wildcats their largest lead of the night, 22-14, midway through the first half and the Wildcats were still leading 31-24, after another Norwood three-pointer with 3:39 left in the half. But the Rams scored the final four points of the half, as the Wildcats went into the break leading 31-28. The Wildcats went 8-of-19 from distance in the half.
Jordan Harding gave the Wildcats a 42-36 lead with a layup with 15:41 to play, but the Rams got back into the game by scoring nine of the next 10 points to take a 45-43 lead with 10:03 showing on the clock. The Rams went up by as many as 52-48 with 8:41 to play but Danny Walsh came down and hit a three-pointer to stem the tide. Eli Gibson laid on in before Jermaine Head came up with a steal and a Fastbreak layup to put the Wildcats back in front, 56-55.
Now with the game tied, Jordan Harding hit a three-pointer to take the lead, but the Rams answered back and led, 65-63, with 1:47 to play. Kam Cooper responded with a three for the Wildcats, taking a one-point lead with 1:31 left in regulation. A pair of free throws made by Tyler Norwood pushed the Wildcats lead out to 69-66 with 23 seconds left.
The Rams came down and forced up a long three-pointer, the home team missed the shot, but picked up the offensive rebound. Kylan Guerra then got Danny Walsh in the air on a pump fake and then was fouled on a three-point attempt with seven seconds on the clock. Guerra calmly stepped to the line and hit all three foul shots to send the game into overtime.
Jefferson hit the first shot of the overtime session, a contested three with 3:22 to play. Kam Cooper's foot was on the line to cut the deficit to 72-71, but the Rams answered right back with a layup, 74-71. Tyler Norwood brought the Wildcats to within a point again with a jumper in the lane, but then Guerra hit another three-pointer for the Rams with 21 seconds left to lead 77-73.
Jermaine Head answered with a quick layup, but the Rams hit both foul shots and the Wildcats missed the ensuing three-pointer, having to send the Rams back to the foul line. The Rams hit both once again to ice the game, 81-75.
Tyler Norwood led the Wildcats with 20 points while adding seven rebounds. Jermaine Head filled up the stat sheet with 19 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and four steals. Jordan Harding and Kam Cooper finished with nine points each.
The Wildcats are back in action on Saturday, as they return home to square off against Holy Family in another CACC matchup. The men are the second in a doubleheader and will start at approximately 3:00 p.m.