Copyright 2015; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Tenicia Spence.
CALDWELL, N.J. - - A slow start left a large deficit for the Wilmington University women's basketball team as it was too much to overcome as Caldwell scored the 93-85 high scoring Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference affair on Saturday afternoon at the Newman Center.
Caldwell (10-6, 6-2 CACC) jumped out to a 29-20 lead after the first quarter and led by as many as 12 points in the early going of the second quarter. The Wildcats (7-9, 2-5 CACC) battled back to close the gap to a single point before the Cougars went into the halftime break leading 44-39.
Tenicia Spence attempted to get the Wildcats into the lead in the third quarter, scoring 15 points in the frame. But he Cougars had an answer for every Wildcat bucket. A personal 6-0 run by Spence brought the Wildcats to within 51-49, but the Cougars responded with a 5-0 run of their own to regain a seven-point lead. Spence hit her second three-pointer of the quarter to bring the Wildcats back within three-points, but Caldwell answered right back with a three-pointer of its own.
Another Spence three-pointer brought the Wildcats to within 65-63 with 1:42 left in the quarter, but the Cougars converted a pair of free throws and a jumper in the final minute to carry a 69-63 lead into the fourth quarter.
Trailing by seven early in the fourth quarter, Jordan Hawkins started a 5-0 run with a free throw, followed by a Jasmine Lee jumper. Spence added a pair of free throws to bring the Wildcats to within 74-72 with 5:13 left in regulation. Following a Caldwell bucket, Hawkins again brought the Wildcats to within two points with a layup but the Cougars then went on an 8-1 run to distance themselves once again.
Spence was able to close the gap to as few as four points on a pair of occasions in the final minute, but the Cougars were able to hold off the Wildcats down the stretch for the 93-85 victory.
Spence shot 10-of-14 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from three-point territory, to finish with a team high 29 points. She also dished out four assists, picked up two steals, and grabbed two rebounds. Hawkins added 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting while also leading the team with eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Wildcats shot 54 percent from the floor for the game while also hitting 6-of-13 from deep in the game. The Cougars collected 10 more points from the foul line for the game, as the Wildcats only went 11-of-18 from the charity stripe.
The Wildcats return home for their next contest, as they look to snap a four-game losing streak on Tuesday. The Wildcats host Post at the WU Athletics Complex in the first of a CACC doubleheader starting at 6:00 p.m.