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Three-Point Barrage Gives Men’s Basketball Fourth Straight Win, 97-92, Over Goldey-Beacom to End Regular Season

File photo of Caleb Matthews who sank seven three-pointers and ended with 26 points at Goldey-Beacom. Copyright 2021; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Trudy Spence. December 11 vs. Lock Haven.
File photo of Caleb Matthews who sank seven three-pointers and ended with 26 points at Goldey-Beacom. Copyright 2021; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Trudy Spence. December 11 vs. Lock Haven.

Press Release Writtein by Mitchell Coll

WILMINGTON, Del. - - The Wilmington University men's basketball team shot 67.9 percent from the field and over 70 percent from beyond the arc in a 97-92 shootout victory in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference matchup at Goldey-Beacom Saturday afternoon.

The Wildcats scored a season-high of 97 points in today's final regular-season game, a large part due to connecting on 12 three-pointers. This is only their second time this season scoring more than 90 points. The win was their fourth in a row, the longest streak since the 2017-18 squad won five in a row from January 16 to January 30.

Records for the Wildcats also were broken in the first half of today's contest. Randy Rickards came into today's contest just one rebound shy of the most rebounds in a season. Holding that record for more than 10 years was Brandon Savage who set the mark at 221 rebounds in his 2009-10 season. Rickards surpassed that amount by grabbing his 222nd rebound at 14:41 in the first half. He now sits at 228 rebounds and counting.

Senior guard Danny Walsh and sophomore guard Caleb Matthews led the way in the first half. Walsh converted 2-of-3 from deep and ended with 12 points. Walsh also added four assists, his first assist came from finding Caleb Matthews open for a three-pointer at 14:24. He connected on his next two with sophomore guard Taalib Holloman on a layup made and a three-pointer made by Holloman. His last assist of the half found Junior Randy Rickards with under a minute left putting the Wildcats up 12 points.

Matthews did not miss one shot in the first half going a perfect 3-for3 from three and 4-for-4 overall with a made jump shot that tied up the game halfway through the first. After being tied up at 25 apiece the Wildcats outscored the Lightning, 23-12, to close out the first half with a score of 48-37.

The second half started with a strike by the Lightning with their efforts to get back into the game. They were able to completely close the Wildcat's 11-point cushion from the first half, tying the game up at 52 apiece at 14:12 in the second half.

Their next couple of possessions were fueled by freshman play of Jordan Jackson, Ethan Tarte, and Nalik Veasley. Goldey-Beacom was able to take a quick lead, but Jackson closed that momentum quickly with back-to-back layups tying the game back up with a layup off of a dish from Matthews, then regaining the lead off of an assist from Nalik Veasley. Matthews answered on the next offensive possession with a made three-pointer, then Jackson found the basket again on a layup, plus a foul drawn. Tarte earned his way to the line connecting on his first free-throw, misses the second, but grabbed his miss and gets fouled again while attempting a put-back lay-in. He then connects on both free throws, which made the score 64-56 in the Wildcat's favor with 10:21 left to play.

The next nine points for the Wildcats were thanks to three three-pointers by Caleb Matthews and fantastic ball movement by the 'Cats. Three different Wildcats found Matthews open for three: Veasley, Walsh, and Jackson. After those three-pointers, the Wildcats found themselves up by nine with 8:00 minutes to play.

The Lightning would still not go down without a fight. They were able to bring it within one point again, with the score being 82-81, with 3:38 to play. A Danny Walsh jump shot pushed it to a three-point lead, but the Lightning answered right back to keep the deficit at a point with 2:58 to play. A second-chance effort by Veasley changed the momentum back to the 'Cats as he grabbed an offensive board and converted on the tip-in layup at 2:25. Down the stretch, with a narrow lead, the Wildcats were able to close out the game with crucial free-throws.

Caleb Matthews led the way with 26 on 8-of- 10 shooting, seven assists, two rebounds, and a steal. Danny Walsh added 22 points, six assists, a rebound, and two steals. Randy Rickards had 15 points and eight rebounds. Ethan Tarte had 13 points, six rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Jordan Jackson added six points off the bench. Nalik Veasley went for six points and eight rebounds. Taalib Holloman added seven points as well.

For the fifth consecutive year in which they competed the Wildcats will play in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament, clinching the fourth spot in the South Division. They will travel to Post University to play in the First Round. tip-off is set for 5:30 PM at the Drubner Center in Waterbury, Connecticut.