WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College men's basketball team connected on 14 three-points in an 86-65 blowout victory over Mount St. Joseph University (MSJ) in the season-opener for both teams on Monday evening.
The Fightin' Quakers started off hot hitting four of their first five triples including three consecutive long-range shots from Kevin Lewis. The Lions would get within four (17-13) with 14:46 remaining in the first half, but consecutive triples from Andrew Russell stretched the Wilmington advantage back to double digits.
MSJ would hang around the 10-point deficit mark for the next eight minutes, but the Wilmington defense, which forced the visitors into 24 turnovers, held the Lions to just three points over the final 5:27 of the first half.
Wilmington, which led 45-27 at halftime, blew the game wide open with an 18-9 run to begin the second half. MSJ would get within 17 points at the midway point of the half, but could get no closer as the Lions left Hermann Court in defeat.
The victory for the Quakers snapped a five-game losing skid at the hand of the Lions.
Wilmington finished 32-of-76 (42.1 percent) from the field including 14-of-32 (43.8 percent) from beyond the arc and 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) from the charity stripe. MSJ countered with 20-of-42 (47.6 percent) from the field and 2-of-14 (14.3 percent) from distance. The Lions managed to earn 39 trips to the free throw line, but 59 percent of those free throws.
The Quakers held advantages in rebounding 43-35 and steals 14-4. Wilmington also forced 24 Lion turnovers and converted them into 27 points.
Individually, Russell finished with 22 points while Lewis had 19 to go along with six rebounds. Will Patrick turned in 13 points for Wilmington as well as dishing out four assists and four steals. Jeffrey Mansfield and Emmanuel Opku both had six points off the bench.
Jake Cropper led the Lions with 21 points in defeat.
Wilmington (1-0) travels to Marymount, Virginia, for a tournament this weekend.