ORANGEBURG, N.Y. - - Down by as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter, the Wilmington University women's basketball team was able to get as close as five points, but Dominican held on down the stretch for the 84-75 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference cross-divisional contest on Saturday afternoon at the Hennessy Center.
The Chargers (8-15, 7-7 CACC) shot 54.8 percent from the floor for the game and won each of the first three quarters to gather a large lead going into the fourth quarter. The Wildcats (6-18, 3-12 CACC) dropped their sixth straight contest, but nearly made a late game comeback for the ages. They shot 48.3 percent from the floor for the game, getting 44 of their points in the paint.
Emma Matthews hit three free throws to put the Wildcats up 7-3 with 7:14 left in the quarter, but the Chargers won the first quarter, 22-19. The home team then took the second quarter, 19-13, to head into the halftime break leading 41-32.
Out of the break, the Chargers continued to push, taking the third quarter, 24-16, to go into the fourth and final quarter, 65-48.
Dominican took its largest lead of the game, 72-51, with 7:07 left in regulation, but that is when Wilmington started to claw back.
Nyree Grant started a 6-0 spurt en route to a 9-2 run to get to within 76-61 as the Chargers took a timeout with 4:01 to play. Another 8-0 run brought the Wildcats to within 76-69 with 1:10 showing on the clock before Precious Palmer had the Wildcats as close as they've been since the first quarter, 78-73, with a layup with 36 seconds to play.
But the Chargers knocked down four straight free throws and made their final six of the game to hold off the late game Wildcat comeback.
Grant led the Wildcats with 21 points, shooting 9-of-14 from the floor and a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line. Macy Robinson scored 17 points by hitting three three-pointers and shooting 7-of-12 overall. Robinson grabbed a team's best seven rebounds. Mikala Casimir put in 14 points while adding six rebounds and five assists while Matthews was the fourth Wildcat in double figures with 13 points and five rebounds. Palmer came off the bench to score eight points while adding three rebounds and four steals.
The leading scorer in the game belonged to a Charger, as Taylor Tomlinson came off the bench to score 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting while adding nine rebounds.
The Wildcats return to action on Tuesday night at the WU Athletics Complex, as they welcome Chestnut Hill to Newark for a CACC South Division battle. The women start the CACC doubleheader with a 6:00 p.m. tip-off.