CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – Wilmington College’s men’s basketball team made 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch in the second overtime Wednesday and defeated Thomas More 88-84 in a non-conference road game.
Christian Jones was strong in the win, scoring 27 points, grabbing 4 rebounds and handing out 5 assists. Nathan Scott had 24 points while Will Patrick added 19 points. Payton Smith had 12 points and 5 assists.
The Quakers (1-1 on the year) had just 11 turnovers in the game.
The game was tight and back and forth throughout.
Wilmington trailed 27-25 late in the first half then went on a 6-0 run to gain a 31-27 advantage. Smith started the brief outburst then Jones followed with a pair of baskets, the last of which came with 57 seconds to go in the first half.
Patrick tallied the first score of the second half at the 18:07 mark to make it 33-28 WC. That five-point margin remained at 35-30 and again at 37-32.
But the homestanding Saints went to work by scoring 16 straight points and holding the Quakers scoreless from 16:39 to 11:08. The result was a 48-37 deficit for Wilmington College.
Undaunted, the Quakers made a charge of their own. Andrew Russell drained a three to cut the difference to 48-42 at 10:09. Not to be outdone, Jones hit a three at 9:27 and it was a three-point game.
Nathan Scott made a layup 23 seconds later to get WC within one, 48-47.
Thomas More went up five before Wilmington closed with one. The Saints seemed to put the game away by going up 60-51 with just under 4 minutes to go.
To close regulation, though, Wilmington scored 10 of the final 11 to tie the game at 61-61. Smith’s layin forced the overtime with 24 seconds to play in the second half.
WC surged into the lead in the first overtime but Thomas More rallied for its first lead at 69-68 with 20 seconds to go. Russell’s free throw with four seconds to play sent the teams into a second extra session, tied at 69.
After being tied early in the second OT, Wilmington gained the lead for good on a Scott three at 1:50, 79-77.
In the final 1:50, Wilmington canned 9 of 10 free throws to close out the thrilling road win.