WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College men's basketball team got 54 points for its bench in a 75-72 victory over Heidelberg University in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action from Hermann Court on Saturday afternoon.
The win gives the Fightin' Quakers a series sweep of the Student Princes including their third consecutive win between the two squads.
Wilmington, which went to its bench early due to foul trouble, built a 22-12 lead at the 11:05 mark of the first half the four three-pointers including three from Will Patrick forcing Heidelberg to take a timeout. The Student Princes would battle back to within two points (26-24) a little over four minutes later, but triples from Aaron Mullins and Patrick that followed grew Wilmington's advantage back to double digits, 41-31 with 1:48 to go in the half.
Trailing 44-35 at halftime, Heidelberg cut the deficit down and eventually took a 57-56 lead on a Myron Prewitt basket midway through the second half. Neither team led by more than a basket until an Andrew Russell triple with Wilmington ahead 66-65 gave the hosts a four-point lead with 3:17 to go.
Dylan Woods got the visitors back within one (71-70) as his triple fell through with 90 seconds to go, but DaeShawn Jackson, who scored just four points in the game, stretched Wilmington's lead to three with a minute to play.
As he has several times this season, Jeffery Mansfield came up with a critical defensive play, stealing a Heidelberg pass and was fouled in transition. The Wilmington High School alumnus made both free throws to put the Quakers ahead 75-70. The Student Princes quickly answered with a basket and were forced to foul down by three. After two missed free throws from Wilmington, Heidelberg had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds, but both triple tries were off target.
"This game was a grind, no question about it," Head Men's Basketball Coach K.C. Hunt said. "Our guys showed a lot of toughness down the stretch to step up and made some winning plays. That's what good teams do."
Heidelberg shot a better percentage from the field (41.5 to 39.1) as well as making two more baskets. Both teams made exactly 11 free throws, but Wilmington's 14-7 edge in three-pointers including a 42.4-28.0 percent disparity proved to be the difference.
Individually, Patrick scored a season-high 20 points including a career-best 6-of-8 from three-point land. Mansfield added 14 points while Andrew Russell scored 11 to go along with seven rebounds. All five Wilmington starters were held in single digits.
"One of the strengths of our team is our depth," said Hunt. "That really came through tonight. Jeff [Mansfield] made some of the biggest plays of the game."
Woods led Heidelberg with 19 points in defeat. Prewitt added a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Wilmington (12-6, 8-4 OAC) hosts Otterbein University for a 7 p.m. contest on Wednesday.