Quakers push No. 10 Blue Streaks to the brink


UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — The Wilmington College men’s basketball team went toe-to-toe with No. 10 John Carroll University on Saturday, but the Blue Streaks held on for a 66-64 Ohio Athletic Conference victory at the Tony DeCarlo Varsity Center.

JCU finished 26-of-51 (51.0 percent) from the field despite making just one three-pointer on six tries. The Blue Streaks were 13-of-19 (68.4 percent) from the free throw line and held a 33-22 rebounding edge. Wilmington finished 24-of-55 (43.6 percent) including a season-best 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from beyond the arc.

Individually, the Luke Chicone and Luke Frazier duo combined for 38 points for John Carroll with no other Blue Streak scoring more than seven. The Quaker duo of Abdul Kanu and Obed Achirem tallied 29 points and five steals.

Wilmington rounds out the first half of OAC play by hosting Otterbein University 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Kanu, the Quakers’ leading scorer entering the game, wasted now time heating up as the senior scored seven of the team’s first 10 points which included a three to give WC a 10-4 lead. The Blue Streaks, who have been led by NCAA Division I transfers Luke Chicone and Luke Frazier, chipped away and eventually took a 19-17 advantage on a David Gentry layup midway through the half.

JCU would stretch its lead to five points, but it was Wilmington’s turn to come back as a Lucas Doty long-distance shot tied the game at 29. Each team scored six points over the final four minutes with a Collin Barker three being the last basket of the half for either team.

The contest remained a one-possession game early in the second half, but the hosts, up 44-42, went on a 10-3 run with seven of those points coming from Chicone and Frazier. Domenic Farley kept the Quakers from going completely cold during that four-minute stretch with a three.

John Carroll led by as many as 11 (61-50), but Wilmington would allow the Blue Streaks just five points over the final eight minutes. A Kanu basket with just under two minutes to play pulled the visitors within 64-61, but after a JCU miss, the Quakers couldn’t convert with a turnover. Both teams traded baskets, and the Blue Streaks looked to seal the game with an offensive rebound off of a miss, but Connor O’Toole turned it over.

The hosts elected to foul on purpose, sending Kanu to the line with JCU up 66-63. The Columbus native hit the first and missed the second, but the Blue Streaks corralled the rebound to seal the victory.

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