NEWARK, Del. - - A slow start to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference matchup doomed the Wilmington University men's basketball team, as Holy Family came out fast and settled with a 74-62 victory on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (0-8, 0-2 CACC) shot 18.8 percent from the floor in the first half while Holy Family (5-5, 2-0 CACC) raced out to a 37-19 halftime lead. The Wildcats then came out and outscored the Tigers, 43-37, in the second half, but it was too large of a deficit to overcome in the contest.
Holy Family came out and scored the first seven points of the game, forcing the Wildcats into an early timeout. The deficit was narrowed to four points, but the Tigers answered with a 20-4 run to take a 29-9 lead with 4:56 left in the half. The first half lead ballooned to as many as 24 at 37-13 before the Wildcats finished the half with a three-pointer by Jermaine Head and a buzzer-beating three by Jordan Harding to head into the break down 37-19.
An old fashioned three-point play by Tyler Norwood brought the Wildcats to within 15 points early in the second half, but Holy Family had an answer for every Wilmington run.
The visitors once again led by 20 with 14:23 to play, 48-28, but the Wildcats nearly cut the deficit in half with a 10-1 run. Harding hit another three-pointer to get to within 49-38, and the Wildcats were able to get the deficit back to 11 points on three different occasions, the latest with 8:07 left in the game, but couldn't break into the single digits until too late in the game. Holy Family's lead went back out to 16 before Taalib Holloman hit two from the line, and Danny Walsh hit a three-pointer after an offensive rebound, getting the game to within 60-51 with 3:51 showing on the clock.
Jermaine Head came away with a steal and a layup on the ensuing possession, getting to within even points with 3:31 left, but that would be as close as the Wildcats would get the rest of the way. A three-pointer from the corner on the next Holy Family possession put the game back out to 10, and then the Tigers held another 13-point lead with another three-pointer with 1:41 showing on the clock. The game would not get within single digits the rest of the way, settling on a 12-point victory by the Tigers, 74-62.
The Wildcats went 6-of-32 from the floor in the first half, including 2-of-14 from three-point territory. They finished the game 21-of-71 (29.6 percent) from the floor but just 5-of-30 (16.7 percent) from three-point territory.
Jermaine Head led the Wildcats with 21 points, shooting 7-of-12 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the foul line. He also added four rebounds, four assists, and four steals. Jordan Harding was the only other Wildcat in double digits, scoring 10 points as well as a team high eight rebounds. Taalbib Holloman secured six rebounds in the game.
The Wildcats force Holy Family into 18 turnovers, getting nine steals in the game, resulting in 16 points for the Wildcats. But the Tigers shot 54.2 percent from the floor for the game, hitting 10-of-21 from deep.
The Wildcats have the week off before returning to action next Saturday at the WU Athletics Complex. They host nonconference opponent Kutztown on Saturday with a 3:00 p.m. first tip.