NEWARK, Del. - - A halftime lead would disappear in the third quarter for the Wilmington University women's basketball team, as a strong second half carried West Chester to a 72-59 victory at the WU Athletics Complex on Thursday night in the 2019-20 home opener.
The Wildcats (0-3) held a 37-34 lead going into the halftime break, but a 14-9 third quarter victory led to a big fourth quarter for the Golden Rams (2-1), as they pulled away late with a 24-13 fourth quarter score.
Tiffany Jackson tied the game midway through the first quarter, 9-9, but the Golden Rams scored the next five points in the quarter. Jadyn Whitsitt laid one home with the clock winding down, cutting the deficit to a single point, 14-13, after the first quarter.
The Golden Rams hit four three-pointers in the second quarter, but the Wildcats kept it close in the early going. Down five, the Wildcats used a jumper from Mikala Casimir and a three-pointer from Kasha Andrews to tie the game, 23-23, midway through the second. The run continued for the Wildcats as Andrews hit another three to take their first lead of the game, 26-23. Jonna Maddox hit a three and then Emily Ansah laid one home and Andrews hit another three-pointer to go up 36-30 with 1:24 before the break. Tiffany Jackson hit a free throw to go up 37-32, but the Golden Rams ended the half with the final bucket, sending the teams into the break with the score 37-34.
Tiffany Jackson hit a pair of layups to keep the Wildcats ahead by three in the third quarter, and Jadyn Whitsitt converted a free throw to move up as large as 42-38 in the third. West Chester went on a 9-0 run however, taking over control of the game. A three-pointer with 4:12 left put the Golden Rams up 44-42, forcing a WilmU timeout. The Rams hit another three out of the timeout to go up 47-42. Ansah closed out the quarter with a pair from the line, trailing 48-46.
West Chester used a 6-0 spurt to go up 57-48 early in the fourth. Tiffany Jackson closed the game to 62-54 with a jumper, but another 8-2 run gave the visitors a 70-56 lead late in the game.
Tiffany Jackson led the Wildcats with 15 points while grabbing nine rebounds. She shot 7-of-15 from the floor as well. Kasha Andrews hit four three-pointers and scored 14 points while Mikala Casimir added 11 points, six rebounds, and a team high four assists.
West Chester shot 41.7 percent from the floor, hitting 11-of-32 from beyond the arc.
The Wildcats are back in action on Saturday, as they hit the road and head back to the northeast when they travel to Franklin Pierce. The opening tip is set for 4:00 p.m. in Rindge, New Hampshire.