NEWARK, Del. - - For the second time this season, USciences used a late three inside a minute to play to steal a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory away from the Wilmington University men's basketball team, 73-70, on Wednesday night at the WU Athletics Complex.
In the first meeting on December 7, it was the Devils' Jordan Davidson that knocked down a three-points with 17 seconds left to take a 67-66 lead. On Wednesday night, it was Sean Simon who hit a three-pointer with 33 seconds left to give the Devils a 72-70 lead and the eventual victory.
In a close battle throughout the first half, the Wildcats used a Caleb Matthews three-pointer and a Danny Walsh pull-up jumper to take their largest lead of the game, 37-28, with 1:55 to play in the half. Ethan Tarte turned a steal into a Fastbreak layup to go up eight in the final minute, but the Devils hit a three-pointer to cut the Wildcats' lead to 39-34 going into the locker room.
The Devils kept the game close in the early going of the second half, eventually using a pair from the foul line to tie the game, 49-49. Sean Simon hit a three-pointer for the Devils' first lead of the game and finished off a 13-0 run to take a 56-49 lead with 9:36 showing on the clock.
Randy Rickards and Justin Thomas scored back-to-back buckets to bring the Wildcats to within 60-59 with 5:53 to play before Danny Walsh tied the game, 62-62, with a turnaround jumper with 4:46 on the clock.
Rickards put the Wildcats up, 66-64, with a layup, but a USciences three-pointer hushed the crowd and gave the Devils a one-point lead with 2:39 to play. Justin Thomas put in a layup as the teams went on the seesaw. The lead changed hands again before Nalik Veasley muscled in a layup and was fouled, putting the Wildcats up 70-69. He was not able to complete the three-point play.
The Devils missed a layup on their next possession, but an offensive rebound kept the Devils alive. Sean Simon was found in the corner and he drilled the three-pointer right in front of his own bench to give the Devils a 72-70 lead with 33 seconds left.
Caleb Matthews three-pointer was off the mark but Nalik Veasley was working hard under the basket for the offensive rebound. His put-back attempt rattled out, however, and the Devils came up with the rebound. The Devils hit one from the foul line, but the Wildcats' last-second three-pointer wasn't to be for the second time this week.
Randy Rickards led the Wildcats with 22 points and eight rebounds while Caleb Matthews hit three three-pointers and finished with 14 points. Justin Thomas scored 11 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists while Nalik Veasley came off the bench to secure a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wildcats will play their fourth game in eight days when they host Dominican on Saturday at the WU Athletics Complex. The men will be the nightcap of the CACC doubleheader with an approximate tip-off at 3:00 p.m.