Press Release written by Mitchel Coll
NEWARK, Del. - - The Wilmington University men's basketball played in front of a packed WU Athletics Complex Tuesday and celebrated a Senior Night victory over the Georgian Court University Lions, 78-63, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division matchup.
The Wildcats honored three seniors on their roster, Kameron Cooper, Jordan Perkins, and Danny Walsh. Cooper spent two years with the program and in his career he has scored 375 points, 195 rebounds, and 42 career assists. Perkins joins the Wildcats for the first time this season after a stellar career at Gwynedd-Mercy University. Jordan currently has 16 points and 24 rebounds for his Wildcat career in 18 games. Danny Walsh enjoyed a final send-off at the WU Athletics Complex with one of the best career's ever by a Wildcat. In four playing seasons, Walsh is only one of six Wildcats to eclipse the 1,000-point mark, he currently sits at 1,202 career points. He trails Herbert Dennis of 2010-2014 by 44 points to move up into fifth all-time in career points for the Wildcats.
The 'Cats tasted revenge after being left with a bad taste in their mouth in their first meeting against Georgian Court (4-20, 3-13 CACC) on January 24. The Wildcats (9-17, 6-10 CACC) lost the contest on a buzzer-beating three-pointer back in January. The win for the Wildcats helps them maintain their vital fourth place spot in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division.
The Wildcats opened the contest in a rather unusual way with a technical free-throw awarded to the 'Cats. Danny Walsh made sure to capitalize on it, knocking down the free-throw. The Lions opened up the contest on a 7-3 run, as it took the 'Cats just around five minutes to settle into the contest. Junior forward Randy Rickards was able to tie up the game early with a made layup at 14:59. He then converted on the Wildcat's next successful possession with a jump shot that was found by freshman guard Ethan Tarte at 13:32. After the notch up at 10 apiece, the Wildcats outscored the Lions, 27-10, which proved to be the difference-maker in the first half.
Freshman Nalik Veasley continued his strong presence in his newly adopted role of being the 'Cats pivotal sixth man. He got right into the action with a defensive rebound that turned into two points for him at 11:25, stretching the lead to 19-10. Danny Walsh carried that momentum with a made three-pointer off a nice across-the-court find from Veasley, making it 22-11 half way through the first half. Sophomore Taalib Holloman joined in on the strong bench play as well with a three of his own in the left corner off of a find from sophomore Caleb Matthews at 6:16. Nearing the end of the half Rickards got the crowd off of their feet with a two-hand slam that rocked the 'Plex off of a find by junior guard Justin Thomas. The 'Cats went into the half with a 41-28 lead.
Coming into the second half the Wildcats were able to hold off any potential comeback by the Lions, with consistent offensive possessions. Justin Thomas opened up the scoring for the Wildcats with a made free throw. Then Thomas with again involved the next series finding Rickards who connected on a two-pointer at 19:02 to make the score 44-30. Walsh caught fire in the second half scoring 15 of his 24 points in the last 13 minutes of the game. Rickards joined Walsh as the only other Wildcat to score in double digits in the second half with 10. Justin Thomas was able to connect on a three-pointer at 4:50, which made the lead 66-54. The contest ended with Senior Jordan Perkins grabbing a board and a final send-off for Danny Walsh at the Complex as he was subbed off to a standing ovation with 26 seconds left in the contest.
Danny Walsh finished with a game-high of 24 points to go along with a rebound, two assists, and two steals. Randy Rickards was right behind him with 23 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, and two blocks. Justin Thomas finished with 11 points, six boards, three assists, one steal, and one block. Nalik Veasley finished with 10 points, six rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two blocks.
The Wildcats earn their first double-digit victory since defeating Lock Haven back on December 11th. The Wildcats have two games left on their regular-season schedule with a 1.5 game-lead on Holy Family University. They travel to Chestnut Hill College this Saturday to take on the Griffins at 3:00 PM. Then they cap off the season by driving 15 minutes down the road to Goldey-Beacom College on Saturday, February 26 at 3:00 PM.