Men’s basketball fights off Wilmington, 59-48

Men’s basketball fights off Wilmington, 59-48

NEWARK, Del. – Guard Brendan Kilpatrick (Norristown, Pa./Malvern Prep) poured in a game-high 21 points to lead the Philadelphia University men's basketball team to a 59-48 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) victory over host Wilmington (Del.) Tuesday night in the WU Athletics Complex.

Philadelphia, the 25th ranked team in the National Association of Basketball Coaches poll, improves to 8-1 overall and 3-1 against the CACC. The Rams have won six games in a row. Wilmington dips to 4-6 overall, 0-2 in the conference.

Even though the Rams led the game from wire-to-wire, they had to withstand a second-half Wildcat surge to earn the victory.

The Rams owned a 36-24 advantage after Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre. Pa./Holy Redeemer) drained a layup with 2:38 gone in the second half. Led by six points from Ta'Vaune Griffin, Wilmington would outscore Philadelphia 18-7 over the next 8:40 to close the margin to 43-42.

TJ Huggins (Alexandria, Va./TC Williams) took matters into his own hands, scoring seven consecutive points to start an 11-0 run that would allow the Rams to establish a 12-point cushion (54-42). Kilpatrick made four straight free throws with 39 seconds remaining to push the lead up to 58-44.

Kaison Randolph (Trenton, N.J./Pennington Prep) scored 13 points, while Alexis racked up 10 points, nine rebounds, and a season-high seven blocked shots.

Eric Long (Bronx, N.Y./Marianapolis Prep) hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds.

Kilpatrick and Randolph combined to score the first 10 points of the game to give the Rams a 10-0 lead 4:16 into the contest. The duo shot 4-of-4 from the floor during the run, while Wilmington missed its first eight shots.

The lead would grow to a game-high 16 points (29-13) after Kilpatrick knocked down a 13-footer off of a feed from Huggins with 1:39 left before the half. Philadelphia led at the break 31-17.

Tyaire Ponzo-Meek scored a team-best 18 points for the Wildcats in a reserve role. Brian Adkins scored 11 points.

Philadelphia heads to Northeast Philadelphia to take on Holy Family in a CACC clash on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.