Playing one of its finest games from start to finish, the Wilmington College basketball team defeated Baldwin-Wallace Saturday, 85-70, in Ohio Athletic Conference action at Fred Raizk Arena.
Wilmington has won three of its last four games to improve to 9-12 overall and 7-7 in the conference. With the loss, Baldwin Wallace falls to 12-9 overall, 8-6 in the OAC.
“We displayed great defensive effort today,” WC men’s coach K.C. Hunt said after the game. “I thought the guys were really locked in on the scouting report and played at a high level.”
Wilmington had four of its starters in double figures with Abdul Kanu leading the way with 24. Jeffery Mansfield followed with 20. Daeshawn Jackson added 17 and Colin Myers scored 10.
Coming off the bench to add instant offense for WC was Aaron Mullins who scored 12 points.
“Individually, Jeffery [Mansfield] and Abdul [Kanu] carried us down the stretch and closed the game,” said Hunt. “Aaron [Mullins] and DaeShawn [Jackson] were catalysts as well.”
Wilmington jumped out to a 40-25 lead at halftime. B-W made a run to start the second half, but Wilmington regained the advantage and the two teams battled to a 45-45 standoff in the second half of play.
The Quakers lost by three points to Baldwin Wallace, 87-84 in the first meeting Jan. 18 in Berea.
The Quakers shot the ball very well, connecting for nearly 50 percent at 32 of 65. WC was 5 of 12 beyond the three-point line. Jackson and Myers each connected for a pair of treys.
Making the most of their free throw opportunities, WC was 16 of 21 at the line, Mansfield going six of nine from the stripe, while Jackson made five of his six changes and Kanu converted four of his five free throw opportunities.
Wilmington won the rebounding battle 38-30. Off the bench, Wilmington high school grad Matt Smith pulled down six boards and Jackson had five rebounds.
From a defensive standpoint, it was an outstanding effort as the Quakers collected 12 steals, with Kanu taking it away four times. B-W turned it over 16 times, while Wilmington committed 11 turnovers.
Wilmington will be back at Fred Raizk Arena 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.