RUTHERFORD, N.J. - - Felician had the final say of a seesaw affair on Monday night, taking the lead for good with just 22 seconds left, snapping a three-game win streak by the Wilmington University men's basketball team, 90-87, inside Job Gym.
The lead changed hands six times in the final 2:08 of regulation, leading to an exciting finish in a makeup game from earlier in the season. The Wildcats (7-16, 4-9 CACC) were looking for their fourth straight win, but it's Felician (13-7, 8-4 CACC) that extend its winning streak to three straight with the win.
Danny Walsh (Bear, Del.) gave the Wildcats the lead himself three times down the stretch, but it was the Golden Falcons' Dee-end McRae that answered with the up and under layup with 22 seconds left that gave the home team the lead for good. Danny Walsh had another good look from the foul line on the ensuing possession, but his shot was off the front rim and Felician was able to hit enough free throws down the stretch to close out the win.
Walsh hit his first two three-pointers of the game and the Wildcats held an early 8-5 lead. Justin Thomas gave the Wildcats a five-point lead with a layup, 23-18, with 12:34 to play in the half and the Wildcats were able to say in front for most of the first 20 minutes. Felician tied the game, 33-33, but Danny Walsh scored the next seven points, giving the Wildcats their biggest lead of the game, 40-33, with 4:19 on the clock.
The Golden Falcons again closed the gap, cutting the deficit to 46-45 at the halftime break.
The home team came out and scored the first eight points of the second half before Randy Rickards broke the ice with a layup, but the Wildcats were down 53-48.
The lead grew to 60-52 with 13:02, but the Wildcats were able to keep it inside single digits before striking back. Felician took its largest lead of the game, 74-65, with 6:55 to play in regulation.
Taalib Holloman gave a spark off the bench, putting in back-to-back layups and dishing out an assist on a Danny Walsh three-pointer as the Wildcats closed to within 76-72. Randy Rickards then scored three straight buckets, the last a flush from Holloman to bring the Wildcats to within a single point, 78-77, with 3:25 to play. The team's straight buckets, with Danny Walsh hitting a jumper to make it 80-79 with 2:50 to play.
Danny Walsh then put in a tough layup with 2:08 on the board, giving the Wildcats the 81-80 lead, as the teams went on the seesaw, trading the lead back and forth six times down the stretch.
The Wildcats had one final chance to tie the game with a long pass down the court, but the miracle play from Rickards to Caleb Matthews could not be completed as the buzzer sounded.
Walsh set a new career-high with 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting, hitting 4-of-6 from three-point territory, adding four assists as well. Randy Rickards finished with 18 points and nine rebounds while Justin Thomas added 17 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals. Taalib Holloman came off the bench to score 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting to go with four rebounds and three assists.
The Wildcats will look to begin another win streak with their next contest on Wednesday night, as they return home to square off against USciences at the WU Athletics Complex. The opening tip is set for 8:00 p.m.