Durham, N.C. - A late rally by North Carolina Central University denied the Johnson & Wales women's basketball team their first victory over an NCAA Division 1 opponent, as the Wildcats fell 68-51 on Tuesday.
Johnson & Wales (6-2) trailed by as many as 13 points in the early stages, but managed to claw back to a 45-42 defecit with just 6:38 to go on a pair of Ineesha Hankerson free throws. The Eagles, however, responded with an 8-0 run to restore a double digit advantage and avoid an upset on home court.
Chase Muhammad led all scorers with 22 points for Johnson & Wales, while Hankerson posted an impressive double-double with 16 points and 15 boards on the evening.
The Wildcats were undone by turnovers. They committed 31 on the night, directly leading to 28 points for the Eagles (2-3). Johnson & Wales managed only four assists as a team, but did manage to reach the free throw line far more often than their hosts, with a 27-11 advantage on the evening.
North Carolina Central was led by Sam Oliver-Alexander off the bench with 21 points, while Caira Benton added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The Wildcats will resume play on Friday when they host USCAA rival Mid-Atlantic Christian University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Wildcat Center.