The Wilmington College men’s basketball team fell behind early and had numerous comeback attempts fall short, losing to Baldwin Wallace Saturday, 80-68, in Ohio Athletic Conference at Hermann Court’s Fred Raizk Arena.
“We dug ourselves an early hole, that’s for sure,” said Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt. “A lot of times when you do that, you expend so much energy getting back in the game, you can’t finish it, and that is what happened today. We got it to within a one, two possession game, and they would pull back away; just a tough night overall from a competitive standpoint.”
Baldwin Wallace scored 20 of the game’s first 26 points forcing the Fightin’ Quakers to use a pair of timeouts to stem the tide. However, the team stoppages couldn’t prevent the Yellow Jackets from opening up an 18-point bulge.
WC showed some fight as sophomore D.J. Iles hit back-to-back triples, and freshman Brandon Smith hit another to bring the home team to within 11 at the break.
The momentum carried over into the second half as Wilmington scored 14 of the first 20 second-half points to bring the deficit to three. As quick as WC got to within one possession, Baldwin Wallace exploded to push the lead to 12.
Wilmington had two more runs in which they were in dangerous striking position, but the Yellow Jackets held on.
Senior Zach McCorkle finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one block in 26 minutes.
“He was making plays, and that is what seniors are supposed to do,” said Hunt. “We have one more home senior game, and hopefully, we can close it out with a win.”
Iles finished with 17 points, one short of his career-high, in 34 minutes of action. Sophomore Christian Jones added 10 points, three assists, one block and one steal in the loss.
“D.J. is a tough cookie, and that is one of the things you love about him is his competitive spirit,” said Hunt. “I know he is going to fight every night, and that is what we need.”
Wilmington (4-17 overall, 3-13 OAC) hosts Muskingum 7 p.m. Wednesday in OAC action. It will mark the final home game for McCorkle and senior Chris Jackson.