Quakers hold on for 82-74 win over Owls

WILMINGTON — Abdul Kanu poured in 25 points to lift the Wilmington College men’s basketball team to an 82-74 victory over Kenyon College Saturday in the home-opener for the Quakers at Fred Raizk.

“Everyone loves playing at home, but it’s winning at home that makes it special,” WC head coach Micah Mills said. “It was special seeing our team respond from our game on Thursday. The community support … was awesome.”

Wilmington finished 32-of-59 (54.2 percent) from the field, but just 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) from three-point range and 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) from the free throw line.

Kenyon countered with a 24-of-61 (39.3 percent) from the field, 6-of-22 (27.3 percent) from distance and 20-of-32 (62.5 percent) from the charity stripe. Both teams committed 15 turnovers and struggled to find rhythm as 49 combined fouls were called.

In addition to Kanu’s 25 points, Obed Achirem and Domenic Farley also finished in double figures for the Quakers. Achirem added nine rebounds and four assists while Farley hit three of the team’s five three-pointers in the game.

“Abdul’s game speaks for itself, but it’s his work ethic and mentality of chasing his best that has been awesome to see so far this year,” said Mills. “Today’s performance speaks to that. His rebounding effort in the second was exactly what we needed and was a big part in us closing out the game.”

Wilmington (3-1) returns to action at home against Wittenberg University on Nov. 30.

Neither team broke away in the early going. The hosts, trailing 12-11, put together a 9-3 run on a layup from Obed Achirem, two from Abdul Kanu and a three from Hunter Prince at the 12:40 mark. Wilmington led the rest of the half and took a 39-35 advantage to the lockerroom.

An old-fashioned, three-point play from Kanu early in the second half capped an 8-2 Quaker run and stretched the host’s lead to 47-37 at the 16:51 mark. Kenyon answered, and loudly, scoring 14 of the game’s next 18 points to tie the game 51-51.

Neither side led by more than a possession for several minutes until Archirem found Isiah Taborn for the hoop and the foul at the 8:20 mark to put the Quakers up 63-59. Two possessions later, Farley drained a second-chance three-pointer to put WC up 68-60.

Kenyon rallied once more to make it 69-69 but a 7-1 spurt capped by a tip-in dunk from Kanu put the Quakers ahead 76-70. Three consecutive Wilmington turnovers got the Owls within striking distance but the Quakers held on for the win.