Men’s Basketball’s Late Surge Falls Just Short in Loss to Wilmington

Credit: Madison Laplante
Credit: Madison Laplante

PHILADELPHIA – Down 11 with 9:50 remaining the University of the Sciences men's basketball got within two with 2:55 to play, but Wilmington closed the game on a 7-2 run to defeat the Devils 61-54 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) action on Tuesday night at Bobby Morgan Arena.

Trailing 38-49, Brandon Starr sparked USciences' comeback attempt with five consecutive points before a Paddy Casey 3-pointer made the score 46-49 with 7:32 left.

Wilmington (14-8, 9-4 CACC) quickly build its lead back up to eight with five unanswered, but this time it was Will Gregorits fueling the Devils with four points in a stretch of six straight, the final two bringing the score to 52-54 with just 2:55 to go.

A Wildcat trifecta the next trip down the court stole back the momentum though, and University of the Sciences missed four of its final five shots to fall just short of a comeback.

Casey led the Devils (11-10, 7-6) with 15 points, while Brendan Crawford added 12 to fall two rebounds shy of his second career double-double.  

Gregorits added eight points and five rebounds, while Flo Da-Silva contributed seven points, a game-high six assists and five rebounds.

In a fairly even statistical game in which rebounds, assists, turnovers, points off turnovers, second chance points, points in the paint and bench points were all within four, USciences' shooting was once again the difference.

The Devils made just 20-of-58 field goals (34.5 percent), compared to 25-of-54 (46.3) for Wilmington. The Wildcats also made four more 3-pointers, 9-5.

The first half featured six lead changes and six ties and was played within two possessions until Wilmington capped off a 13-4 surge, after USciences had held its largest lead of the night of 20-16, to take a 29-22 advantage 2:44 ahead of the break. 

The Devils came back with the final two points of the first half and the first four of the second, but Wilmington responded with a 12-3 flurry for the first double-digit lead of the night – 41-31 with 12:37 to play.

The two teams then traded five-point runs, and the advantage was double-digits again, 46-36, just 2:02 later.  

University of the Sciences returns to the road when it travels to Concordia for a 3 p.m. tip on Saturday, Feb. 3