Wilmington hands Mount Union first OAC loss

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ALLIANCE – In a game that featured 18 ties and 14 lead changes, senior Dwight Johnson made two plays in the final minute as Wilmington scored the final five points of the game in handing Mount Union its first Ohio Athletic Conference loss of the season, 88-87, Saturday in the MAAC.

"It was a great team win," said Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt. "We made big plays when we needed them to. Dwight made a big three-pointer, and then made a great decision in getting (Jonathan Bibbs) a lay-up. Then, we manned up and got the stop when we needed."

After Johnson's three-pointer with 1:07 remaining, Wilmington forced a team turnover and called a timeout. The Fightin' Quakers come out of the timeout and executed to get Bibbs (Dayton, OH/Chaminade Julienne) the winning basket with 16 seconds remaining.

For the second straight game, Bibbs came up with a hustle play. He blocked Mount Union's lay-up attempt with two seconds remaining to preserve the victory.

It was the first game in eleven days for the Fightin' Quakers, and it couldn't have come soon enough.

"We needed a game bad," said Hunt. "It was starting to get a little chippy in practice, and we were ready to play a game. We played well for 40 minutes, and it was our best complete effort of the season."

Wilmington had 19 assists on its 32 baskets as the Fightin' Quakers shot a robust 61.5 percent from the field. It was the highest shooting percentage of the season for WC, and fourth time this season, it converted at least 50 percent of its shots. The Fightin' Quakers are now 4-0 in those games. The 19 dimes were the second-most this season.

The end result of the ball sharing allowed five players to tally double figures, led Bibbs' 17 points and two blocks.

Senior R.J. Leppert (Liberty Township, OH/Lakota East) added 15 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block. Sophomore John Righter (Pataskala, OH/Licking Heights) also tallied 15 points, while freshman Christian Jones (Hamilton, OH/Hamilton) recorded 12 points.

Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson) finished with 10 points, a team-high seven assists and two steals.

Wilmington, winners of three straight, stays on the road to play Ohio Northern 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Fightin' Quakers has now won four of their last five.