WESTERVILLE, Ohio - DaeShawn Jackson poured in a game-high 25 points to lead the Wilmington College men's basketball team to an 85-80 Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) victory at Otterbein University on Wednesday evening. The win was the Fightin' Quakers' 18th consecutive victory over the Cardinals.
Wilmington built a 19-11 lead midway through the first half thanks to a dozen points from Jackson, but a Patrick Dallas jumper five minutes later tied the game 27-27. The Quakers looked to go on top at halftime as Aaron Mullens gave the visitors a 36-32 lead with a minute to play, but four straight free throws from the hosts had both teams doing to the locker room tied 36-36 at halftime.
Otterbein, which made 6-of-13 from beyond the three-point arc, wouldn't have as much success in the second. Wilmington's defense would hold the Cardinals to just two triples over the second 20 minutes. One of those triples gave the hosts a 42-41 lead three minutes into the second half, but an 18-5 run from the Quakers capped by two baskets from Noah Dado as well as a steal and score from Payton Smith gave the visitors a 12-point cushion, 59-47 at the 12:24 mark.
The Cardinals would battle back within a single possession in five occasions in the final four minutes, but the Quakers never allowed their opponent the ball back with a chance to tie the game, scoring on all five ensuing possessions.
"This was a really gritty win by the guys," Head Men's Basketball Coach K.C. Hunt said. "We got great contributions up and down our roster tonight. DaeShawn [Jackson] closed the game out like the First Team All-OAC player that his is."
Wilmington finished 32-of-59 (54.2 percent) from the field, 6-of-20 (30 percent) from distance and 15-of-26 (57.7 percent) from the free throw line. Otterbein countered with a 24-of-54 (44.4 percent) performance from the field and 24-of-30 (80.0 percent) from the charity stripe. The Cardinals grabbed seven more rebounds, but couldn't overcome 21 turnovers.
All five Quaker starters scored in double figures. Jackson's 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting were complimented with six rebounds. Kanu finished with 17 points on 17-of-14 shooting while Smith added 10 points and eight assists. Mullins contributed 11 points in the first start of his career while Colin Myers had 11 points, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Patrick led Earlham with 27 points in defeat. Jake Justice and Mo Beavers both had 17 points.
Wilmington (8-12 , 6-7 OAC) hosts Baldwin Wallace University at 3 p.m. on Saturday.