Wilmington University started 2017 off just how they finished 2016 off, with a win. The Wildcats beat the District of Columbia Firebirds 91-81 on Monday night. The 91 points scored by Wilmington ties a season high for them. The Wildcats have now won back to back games.

It all started in the first half where the good part of it, it was anyone’s game. Both teams were just trading buckets and not hanging on the lead very long. Then around the 7:50 mark that all changed when Tyaire Ponzo-Meek hit back to back shots to put Wilmington up 21-20. After Ponzo-Meek’s buckets, Wilmington went on a 11-5 run that put them up 34-23 with 3:53 left in the first half. Masner Beauplan led the Wildcats with 6 points on  the run.

With time running down in first half, the Wildcats ended it going on a 8-2 run putting them up 42-27 at halftime.  Tyaire Ponzo-Meek led the Wildcats with 4 points on that late run.

Wilmington shot 47.1% from the field in the first half while the Firebirds shot 28.6%

Wildcats shot 41.7 % from the three point line in the first half while the Firebirds shot 23.1%.

Omari Dill-Pettiford led the Wildcats with 11 points in the first half.

Traevon Butler led the Firebirds with 9 points in the first half.

Then in the second half the Fire Birds started to spark and came within single digits of the lead multiple time through the half. The biggest scare for Wilmington was when Firebirds Khalil Jackson made a layup to pull  within two points for District of Columbia around 4:42 left in the game. That would be as close as the Firebirds would get as Wilmington then went on a quick 7-2 run that would make the lead 72-65.   Ponzo-Meek hit a lay up and three pointer for the Wildcats in that run.

With about minute left this was still a close game with  District of Columbia only trailing by 4. The Wildcats responded scoring 12 points, including all 4 players who got sent to the free throw line and cashed in for their team. Nick Richards would be the last one, going 2 for 2 on his free throws sealing the game for Wilmington in a 91-81 win.

Tyaire Ponzo-Meek led Wilmington with 26 points in the game.

Three other Wildcats hit double digits in points and they were Omari Dill-Pettiford (20), Nick Richards (13) and  Masner Beauplan (14).

Wildcats (9-5) will now play CACC opponents for the rest of the season. Wildcats play at Felician Wednesday night. Tip off is at 8pm.

DE SPORTS BLITZ PLAYERS OF THE GAME:

Wildcats: Tyaire Ponzo-Meek had 26 points,  3 rebounds ( all defensive),  1 assist, 1 steal and went 4 for 4 from the free throw line.

Firebirds: Traevon Butler had 23 points, 8 rebounds ( 6 defensive, 2 offensive), 1 steal, 1 block and went 6 for 6 from the free throw line.

This is Tyaire Ponzo-Meek’s sixth player of the game honor this season.

Stats:

FG Percentage:

Wildcats: 47.1 %

Firebirds: 38.4%

Free Throw Percentage:

Wildcats:90 %

Firebirds: 76%

Three Point Percentage:

Wildcats:39.1 %

Firebirds:25%

Rebounds:

Wildcats:45

Firebirds:39

Blocks:

Wildcats: 5

Firebirds:6

Turnovers:

Wildcats: 17

Firebirds:14

Points off Turnovers:

Wildcats: 11

Firebirds:11

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