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Men's Basketball Falls to John Carroll at University Heights 89-72

Photo by JCU Sports Information
Photo by JCU Sports Information

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio - The Wilmington College men's basketball team fell to John Carroll University (JCU) 89-72 on the road in Ohio Athletic Conference competition on Saturday afternoon.

Wilmington's defense got things started as a Colin Myers steal on the first possession led to a triple from Payton Smith. The Blue Streaks, after a couple of empty possessions, scored on five straight to take a 12-9 lead at the 16:20 mark. Jeffery Mansfield got fouled on the Quakers' next possession and converted both free throws to pull back within one (12-11).

Then came the JCU run that would ultimately decide the game. The Blue Streaks' defense held Wilmington to just four points over the next nine-and-half-minutes. The Quakers scored on consecutive possessions thanks to an Abdul Kanu layup, steal and Mansfield layup, but found themselves trailing 36-19 at the 5:58 mark.

JCU, which 47-31 at halftime, held a double-digit lead all the way until the final two minutes. Wilmington would get as close as 11 (57-46) on an Aaron Mullins layup midway through the half and within nine (78-69) on two Mansfield free throws at the 2:08 mark. The Blue Streaks answered with a 9-0 run to seal the win.

Wilmington was held under 40 percent shooting for the fifth time this season while JCU converted 29-of-60 (48.3 percent). The Blue Streaks also poured in 13-of-25 (52.0 percent) from distance while the Quakers made 6-of-24 (25.0 percent). The hosts also edged out the visitors on the boards 45-40.

Four of JCU's starters scored in double figures including Ryan Berger's team-high 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Jackson Sartain had 19 points while Jimmy Berger had a double-double with 10 points and a dozen rebounds.

Mansfield also notched a double-double, leading Wilmington in scoring with 17 points and rebounds with a career-high 13 boards. Jackson and Kanu added 13 and 11 points respectively.

Wilmington (4-9, 2-4 OAC) hosts Otterbein University on Wednesday.