Crestview Hills, KY - Basketball opened up the 2017-18 season this evening traveling to Thomas More and was able to escape with a double-overtime victory. Wilmington was led by a handful of players that propelled them to the four-point victory in the second overtime.
Senior Christian Jones recorded a team-high 27 points on 10-21 shooting while chipping in with five assists, four rebounds, and four steals.
Senior Nathan Scott also scored in double figures with 24 points and added two steals.
Junior Will Patrick chipped in with 19 points on 6-14 shooting coming off the bench for the Quakers.
Wilmington was down 77-76 with two minutes to play in the second overtime while the Quakers were able to go on a five-point run that gave them the lead, 81-77 with 1:14 remaining.
The first half was primed to be a defensive battle for both teams. Wilmington was able to hold Thomas More to a low field goal percentage of just 28.1%. Reciprocating that effort was Thomas More's defense that only allowed Wilmington to shoot 37.5% from the field. The largest lead on either side was limited to just four points with Wilmington in the lead 11-7 at the 14:48 mark. From there it was a series of lead changes and ties that propelled Wilmington to a three-point lead 31-28 to end the first half.
Wilmington got off to a quick start in the second half making two of the first three baskets of the half. The first major run of the half was initiated by the Thomas More offense that started at the 16:19 mark. Thomas More went on a 14-0 run that resulted in the biggest lead of the game. The scoring run was finally stopped five minutes later, but not before Thomas More increased it's lead to 11 points, the biggest lead thus far in the game. Wilmington went on a run of its own that started with 11:08 left in the second half. Patrick started the run with two made free throws and a host of additional Quakers that contributed during the scoring streak. The Quakers went on a 10-0 run to get them with at one point of the lead 48-47. The 10-0 scoring run only took up three minutes of court time. The game quickly got away from the Quakers while the Saints increased it's lead to 9 points with just under four minutes left in the second half. The Quakers came storming back to within one point with a minute to go in the game. Coach Hunt was able to get possession of the ball and call a timeout with 24 seconds left in the game. The play that was drawn up resulted in a Quaker layup by sophomore Payton Smith to tie the game at 61 and ultimately send it into overtime.
The first overtime proved to be similar to the first half which resulted in a very good defensive matchup. Only eight points were scored on each side which led this game into a second overtime. With four seconds left and down one in the first overtime, junior Andrew Russell was able to get fouled that sent him to the free throw line. Down 69-68 Russell was able to make one free throw tying up the game and sending it into a second overtime.
To begin the second overtime the Quakers were able to get on the scoreboard right away with a made three-point shot by Scott to put Wilmington up 72-69. From this point on there was a series of lead changes and ties that got the game to the 1:50 mark with Wilmington down 77-76. Jones went on to hit a three-point field goal that switched the lead from the Saints to the Quakers by a score of 79-77. From then on Wilmington never let go of the lead again, ultimately winning their first game of the season by a score of 88-84.
Wilmington had six different players score in the contest, with four players scoring in double figures.
Wilmington had a 34.3% to 18.8% advantage with shooting three-point field goals on the evening.
Wilmington was able to force 20 turnovers from the Saints while compiling 18 team assists.
Wilmington will continue its season in Maryland at Hood College competing in the Rotary of Frederick Holiday Classic on Saturday, November 18th at 6:00 p.m. ET.