Can anyone stop these Wildcats? Well, lately no one can as Wilmington University rolled their winning streak to five with 72-69 win vs the Dominican Chargers. The five game winning streak is a program record for Wilmington University, the University also tied the programs most wins in a season with 11 since they have been with the NCAA. To put this achievement in perspective, last years Wildcats won only 11 games all season and this years team will go way past that total.
It all started in the first half where Dominican took the lead in the early minutes with a 7-4 score, thanks to Daraja Rodwell three pointer. The Chargers continued to score fast and in bunches in the first half including when they went on 12-0 run to put them up 19-6. The run started with a EJ Smith layup and ended with a Smith three pointer.
About a minute later after Dominican’s run, Wilmington responded with their own 26-4 run to take a 32-24 lead into halftime. The run started with a Brian Adkins layup and ended with a Masner Beauplan three pointer.
Wilmington shot 52.0% from the field in the first half while Dominican shot 29.4%.
Wildcats shot 40% from the three point line while the Chargers shot 33.3 %.
Omari Dill-Pettiford led the Wildcats with 10 points in the first half.
Daraja Rodwell led the Chargers with 8 points in the first half.
In the second half, both teams came out scoring but Wilmington was still feeling the momentum from the first half, still holding on the lead in the early goings on the half.Then with 13:51 left in this game, it looked like Wilmington had took control of this game by going up by 11 points.
Then with around 9 minutes left in the game the Chargers woke up and made 5 consecutive shots to bring them within 2 points of the lead which was 54-52.
For the next couple minutes the game stayed tight with Wilmington hanging on to a one or two point lead at times. At the 5:08 mark in the second half the Chargers took a 60-59 lead, which was their first lead of the game since the early minutes of the first half.
The lead bounced back and forth for the next couple minutes until Tyaire Ponzo-Meek made his presence known. With about a minute left Ponzo-Meek scored 5 consecutive points to put Wilmington up 70-68.
The drama was not over yet, with nine seconds left in the game Dominican’s Gerrel Irvin had a chance to tie the game at 70 if he made his two free throws but he only made one of the two. Then with six seconds left in the game Wildcats Nick Richards hit two free throw shots to put the Wildcats up 72-69. In a last chance to tie the game, Dominican’s Daraja Rodwell took a chance for a three pointer but it was no good and the Wildcats hung to win 72-69.
Tyaire Ponzo-Meek led the Wildcats with 20 points in the game.
Two other Wildcats hit double digits in points and they were Nick Richards (18) and Omari Dill-Pettiford (12).
Wilmington (11-5, 6-1 CACC) heads back on the road and takes on another CACC opponent Bloomfield on Tuesday night. Tip off is at 7:30pm.
DE SPORTS BLITZ PLAYERS OF THE GAME:
Wildcats: Tyaire Ponzo-Meek who had 20 points, 9 rebounds ( 2 offensive, 7 defensive), 3 assists and went 4 for 6 from the free throw line.
Chargers:Daniel Grant who had 22 points, 13 rebounds ( 11 defensive, 2 offensive), 1 assist, 1 block and went 8 for 10 at the free throw line.
This is Tyaire Ponzo-Meek’s eighth player of the game honor this season.
Free Throw Percentage:
Three Point Percentage:
Points off Turnovers: