WILMINGTON, Ohio - Trailing 76-73 with 23 seconds left, Earlham College connected on a four-point play to take the lead and defeat the Wilmington College men's basketball team 79-76 in the Quaker Bowl Rivalry on Monday evening.
The Fightin' Quakers opened the game on a 25-10 run fueled by 14 points from Jeffery Mansfield that forced two Hustlin' Quaker timeouts. Wilmington would see that 15-point lead dwindle to one (30-29) at the 3:40 mark of the first half as Jamel Barnes Jr. connected on a triple. Earlham would eventually tie the game 35-35 with just over two minutes to play in the half, but baskets from DaeShawn Jackson, Noah Dado and Mansfield to close out the half gave the hosts a 41-35 lead at the break.
Earlham, which employed a zone defense midway through the second half to get back in the game, surged on the offensive end to begin the second 20 minutes of play, scoring on nine consecutive possessions. Thanks to a couple triples from Colin Myers, the hosts were able to keep the lead and eventually went up 59-53 on a Mansfield trip at the 12:35 mark of the half.
Wilmington held that lead and extended it to 72-65 with 2:02 to play on an Abdul Kanu layup. Earlham answered with two free throws, and after a stop, Barnes Jr. hit a triple to get the visitors within 72-70. Kanu would convert another layup on the ensuing possession, but a Chainey Zolman triple with 38 seconds left trimmed Wilmington's lead to a single point, 74-73.
Earlham intentionally fouled Kanu, who made the first, missed the second, but got his own offensive rebound. Kanu, after being fouled a second time, went 1-of-2 again, missing the second free throw. This time Colin Myers got the rebound and was fouled with 23 seconds left.
After a timeout, Myers missed the front end of the 1-and-1, and disaster struck for Wilmington as Zolman broke free and hit a triple while being fouled. He made the free throw, giving Earlham just its second lead of the game. An offensive foul followed for the hosts, and after two made Earlham free throws, Wilmington's last-ditch heave was off target.
Wilmington shot a better percentage from the floor (51.9 percent to 49.2 percent), but Earlham made two more baskets. Both teams connected on 10 triples while the hosts made one more free throw (10-9). Wilmington also won the rebounding battle 35-26 while Earlham forced 16 turnovers while committing just nine themselves.
Individually, Mansfield scored a career-high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field while Jackson had 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Kanu also finished in double figures with 15 points.
Earlham had four individual score in double figures including 17 from Zolman, 16 from Kenneth Stalling Jr., 12 from Barnes Jr. and a dozen on four triples from Thomas Sanborn off the bench.
Wilmington (1-3) returns to action for a tournament in Newport News, Virginia, this weekend where they will face the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Saturday and the University of Texas-Dallas on Sunday.