Wilmington falls to No. 10 Bears
November 30, 2012
- Klarke Ransom -
ST. LOUIS, MO – The Wilmington College men’s basketball team had the tenth ranked team in the country on the ropes in their own gym Friday. Unfortunately, the Washington Bears showed the fight of a champion down the stretch in dealing the Quakers their third straight loss of the season.
Washington went on a 12-0 with a little more than four minutes remaining in the game moments after WC trimmed a double-digit deficit down to one. Sophomore R.J. Leppert (Liberty Township, OH/Lakota East) and senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) scored five points each during Wilmington’s 14-4 run in which the Quakers went from down 11 to down one with 4:36 left.
However, Wilmington couldn’t get any closer as the Bears marched to the free throw line 13 times, making 11, in the final four minutes. For the game, the home team was 27-of-35 from the charity stripe. Washington guard Alan Aboona was 14-of-14 in the game.
Wilmington struggled in keeping the Bears off the glass as Washington held a 43-18 edge on the glass. The Quakers were able to force Washington into 23 turnovers, converting them in 26 points. Meanwhile, fresh off a 30-turnover performance in the loss to Thomas More – WC took excellent care of the basketball. The Quakers only turned the ball over 11 times, six of them were credited to junior Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington).
Early on the game favored the Fightin’ Quakers as they scored nine of the first 11 points, and built a lead as high as 11 points in the first half. WC led the entire half until Washington scored the final seven points to draw even going into the locker room.
The momentum stayed with the home team coming out of the break, and the Bears built a quick five-point advantage that would balloon to 11 points halfway through the second 20 minutes. However, Wilmington fought back but just couldn’t get over the hump.
Candella and Heard each scored 13 points in the loss, while Heard grabbed a team-high six rebounds. Sophomore Dwight Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson) added a team-high five assists.
Wilmington (1-3) will play Tufts (3-5) 6 p.m. Saturday. The Jumbos fell to No. 7 Illinois Wesleyan, 71-62, in the opening game of the tournament.