NEWARK, Del. - - A slow start loomed large for the Wilmington University women's basketball team, as Nyack took the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contest, 66-52, on Saturday afternoon at the WU Athletics Complex.
Following a 24-9 hole after the first quarter, the Wildcats (1-9, 1-4 CACC) won the rest of the contest, 43-42, holding the Warriors (2-6, 1-2 CACC) to just 29.5 percent from the floor in the final three frames.
But the first quarter doomed the Wildcats, as the Warriors went 4-for-8 from beyond the three-point arc and 9-of-16 overall to score 24 points and lead 15 points. For the game, the Warriors shot 12-for-35 from distance, only scoring 10 field goals from inside the arc in the game.
Daja Claiborne led the Wildcats with her third double-double of the season, scoring 12 points while adding 12 rebounds to go with three assists. She was steady throughout the game, scoring four points and five rebounds in the first half and eight points and seven rebounds in the second half.
Amaja Mack hit a three-pointer to start the second quarter and then Kiara Eubanks make a free throw before Emily Ansah laid one in to bring the Wildcats to within nine points, but the Warriors answered and led by as many as 21 points in the quarter. The Wildcats were able to cut the deficit back to 15 points going into the break, tying the quarter, 17-17.
The Wildcats stormed back in the third quarter, closing the gap to as few as just two points on a 14-1 spurt over the first 7:32 of the quarter. Sabreen Muslim brought the Wildcats to within 42-40 with 2:28 to play, but the Warrior scored the final six points of the quarter to tame the momentum, taking a 48-40 lead in the final frame. The Wildcats won the quarter, 14-7, and the Warriors shot just 1-for-16, including 1-for-10 from three-point land.
Nyack went on an 11-3 run to start the fourth, opening the lead back out to 16 points to put the game away. The Wildcats couldn't cut the deficit to fewer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Claiborne was the only Wildcat in double figures, while Sabreen Muslim finished with nine points and nine rebounds. Kiara Eubanks added nine points while Amaja Mack added eight and Emily Ansah chipped in with seven points.
The Wildcats take to the road for their next two games, beginning with one of the makeup games on Tuesday night. The Wildcats will head to Rutherford, New Jersey, to take on Felician starting at 5:30 p.m. that is a makeup date from January 2.