TIFFIN, Ohio – A 25-9 run to end the first half, lifted the Wilmington College men’s basketball team to a 93-83 victory at Heidelberg University on Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action Saturday afternoon.
Both teams shot over 45 percent from the field with Heidelberg making five more field goals than Wilmington. The Quakers connected on 14-of-28 (50 percent) from beyond the three-point arc compared to just 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) for the Student Princes. The visitors also made 27-of-31 (87.1 percent) free throws while the hosts were 17-of-20 (85 percent).
Wilmington’s Christian Jones led all scorers with 27 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, 4-for-4 from distance and a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe.
“Christian [Jones] once again played at an All-OAC level,” said WC head coach K.C. Hunt.
Jones joined Nathan Scott, who scored 15 points, to each grab six rebounds. Will Patrick, Andrew Russell and DJ Iles also scored in double figures.
Wilmington, now on a two-game winning streak, improves to 7-9 on the season and 3-7 in the OAC. The Quakers will return to Fred Raizk Arena 7 p.m. Wednesday with Ohio Northern University.
Neither team led by more than four points in the first nine minutes. Myron Prewitt’s three-pointer at the 10:33 mark gave the Student Princes a 22-15 lead, and after a Wilmington timeout, Iles found Russell for a layup to get the deficit back to five points.
Three minutes later, two free throws and a basket from Mike Mason gave Heidelberg its 31-23 edge with just over seven minutes to play in the first half.
Then came Wilmington’s run. Scott scored eight consecutive Quaker points with an old-fashioned three-point play, a layup and a triple. Payton Scott gave Wilmington a 33-31 edge with a layup and another Scott three-pointer on the ensuing possession gave the Quakers a 36-31 lead with 4:25 in the half.
“We had a tremendous run of execution at the end of the first half,” Hunt said. “We carried that into the second half and that was key to the win.”
The hosts pulled with 39-38, but five straight points from Kevin Lewis fueled a 9-2 run to close the half with the visitors on top 48-40.
Wilmington opened the second half by scoring the first eight points including three-pointers from Russell and Jones. A Heidelberg basket halted the momentum temporarily, but two free throws from G. Shea Mercer at the 15:00 mark gave the Quakers a 20-point edge (62-42).
Heidelberg had a furious rally to get within six, 82-76, with just under two minutes to play, but a free throw from Scott and a three-pointer from Russell put the game away for Wilmington.