Charlotte, NC - Johnson & Wales opened its 2017-18 season before a capacity crowd Tuesday night. That crowd witnessed a thrilling game that saw four lead changes in the final minute, capped off by a Robert Hobson 3 pointer with 2 seconds remaining that proved to be the winner.
The Wildcats (1-0) started quickly, shooting 47% in the first half and knocking down six 3 pointers en route to an 11 point halftime advantage. Hobson, making his debut for Johnson & Wales, scored 15 of his team-high 20 points in that first stanza.
JWU's lead would grow to as many as 18 points in the first five minutes of the second half before Piedmont International (2-1) staged their comeback. Bruin guard Nash Carter poured in 28 of his game high 34 points in the stanza, and his jumper with 9 seconds left gave PIU only their second lead of the game. From there, the Wildcats raced down the court, where Majerle Poole found a wide open Hobson in the corner of the court. His three pointer touched nothing but the bottom of the net, sending the Wildcat faithful into delirium.
Kajuan Madden-McAfee scored 17 points and collected 5 rebounds, and Messiah Baptiste added 11 points and 4 assists. Poole had a great all-around game, scoring 10 points, grabbing 7 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists. Christian Creswell just missed a double-double as he tallied 9 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wildcats next take the court on Saturday evening as they welcome Columbia International to the Wildcat Center for a 7pm tip-off.