Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of the team against Mercy by Frank Stallworth.
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - - Down by 14 points at the half, the Wilmington University women's basketball team climbed all the way back to take a 73-67 victory against Elizabeth City State in the final game of the ECSU Classic on Sunday afternoon at the RL Vaughan Center.
The Wildcats (4-1) cut the deficit to nine points after three quarters and then used a 25-10 fourth quarter outburst to overcome host Elizabeth City State (0-3) on Sunday.
Eight different players scored in the contest for the Wildcats, led by Zameria Jones' 17 points off the bench. Emma Matthews shot 3-of-5 from beyond the three-point arc to finish with 13 points off the bench while Tenicia Spence led the starters with 10 points.
Macy Robinson scored nine point while also grabbing a team high nine rebounds while Lindsay Bradford chipped in with eight points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Jocelyn Rodriguez rounded out a productive starting five with eight points, three rebounds, three assists (only one turnover), and one steal.
Despite getting out to a fast start in the first quarter, leading 23-18, the Wildcats shot 1-of-9 and committed seven turnovers in the second quarter alone. The Vikings were able to turn the 23-18 deficit into a 43-29 halftime lead with a 25-6 advantage in the second stanza.
Still trailing by 14 points with 7:50 to play in the third quarters, the Wildcats went to work. Spence started a 7-0 run with a jumper before Jones converted a steal and fast break layup for a quick four-point turnaround. Spence then hit a three-pointer with 6:33 to play to bring the Wildcats to within 48-41. Matthews hit s three-pointer with 1:51 5o play to cut the deficit to six points but the Vikings finished the quarter with a three of their own to give the home team the 57-48 lead after three.
The Vikings started the fourth with a jumper but then the Wildcats ran off a 7-0 run capped by an old fashioned three-point play by Bradford to bring the Wildcats to within 59-55 with 7:30 to play. Shanique Graves then converted back-to-back layups before Matthews laid one home to tie the match, 61-61, with 6:06 remaining.
The teams went on the seesaw by trading buckets until Jones nailed her lone three-pointer of the afternoon with 3:12 to play, giving the Wildcats a 68-66 lead. Spence put in a layup with 2:10 to give the Wildcats a four-point lead, and the team never looked back.
Taylor Bolden hit one of two free throws to extend the lead to five before Rodriguez capped the game with a pair from the line, ending any chance of a comeback from the Vikings.
The Wildcats shot 39.7 percent from the floor for the game, but hit 45.7 percent in the second half to make the comeback. Defensively, the Wildcats held the Viking to just 27.3 percent from the floor, including 1-of-8 form deep in the second half.
Wilmington will look to continue their best start to a season since the 2008-09 campaign next Saturday, as the Wildcats round out the month of November with a contest at West Virginia Wesleyan. The opening tip is set for 2:00 p.m.