The Wilmington University women's basketball team went into the halftime break with a three-point lead but went cold in the second half to allow Chestnut Hill to pull away late with a 72-57 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory on Wednesday at the WU Athletics Complex.
The Wildcats (1-7, 0-2 CACC) took its largest lead of the night with 3:00 remaining in the first half as Taylor Carter hit a free throw for a 27-20 lead. But the Griffins (2-4, 1-0 CACC) tied the game 12-second into the second half and took the lead for good with 17:04 remaining before pulling away late.
The Wildcats shot 35.1 percent from the floor in the first half while holding the Griffins to 26.2 percent to take the three-point halftime lead. But the Griffins came out and flipped the script on the Wildcats, shooting 43.2 percent in the second half while holding the Wildcats to just 29.4 percent in the second 20-minutes.
The game was tied at 20-20 before the Wildcats used a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the game in the first half. Ebonee Dixon started the run with a pair of free throws before Tenicia Spence scored the next four points for the Wildcats. Carter capped the run by hitting the second of her two free throws with 3:00 on the board.
But the Griffins battled back with a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game for the fifth time in the second half with 2:34 before the break, but a Cari Callaway jumper with 23 seconds to play was the final points of the first half, giving the Wildcats a 33-30 lead.
The second half started close between the two programs despite the Wildcats never being able to take back the lead following the 17-minute mark.
Jasmine Lee scored in the paint with 7:52 remaining in regulation to bring the Wildcats to within two at 51-49, but the Griffins then used an 18-2 run over the next 6:15 of game play to take a commanding 69-51 lead with 1:37 showing on the scoreboard.
The Wildcats were led by Lee's 13 points, shooting 6-of-7 from the floor while adding five rebounds and three steals. Spence added 10 points and four rebounds while Jennifer Carr led all players with 16 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive glass.
Chestnut Hill's Olivia Gorczynski led all scorers with 21 points while Shayla Felder added 15 points and Brianne Morgera finished with a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.
The Wildcats return to action with a pair of road games in the CACC as they head to Post on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off and to Holy Family next Tuesday at 6 p.m.