Hot Shooting and Dominant Rebounding Carry 'Cats to Win

Mario Irby dunks against Piedmont International in Tuesday night's 85-73 win.
Mario Irby dunks against Piedmont International in Tuesday night's 85-73 win.

Charlotte, NC – The Wildcats (6-23) came into Tuesday night's game with Piedmont International (10-14) looking for two things. One, they wanted to end their season-high 10 game losing streak, and two they looked to avenge a road loss to the Bruins back on Jan. 22. They achieved both goals in rather impressive fashion.

JWU started the game hitting 5 of their first 9 shots, including back-to-back three pointers by Kareem Wilson. This hot start allowed the Wildcats to jump out to a 14-9 lead in the game's first four minutes. JWU would extend the lead to ten points at 23-13 three minutes later as Robbie Sterling stepped outside to hit a 3 pointer. The Bruins would chip away at the lead, getting to within four at one point, before the Wildcats extended the lead to thirteen at 44-31 with 90 seconds left in the period. A Nick Crawford offensive rebound and stickback just before the buzzer staked JWU to a ten point halftime lead, 46-36.

PIU hung around for the first six minutes of the second half, cutting the Wildcat lead to as little as four. A 14-4 run keyed by two Jay Keller 3 pointers allowed JWU to push the lead to 15 at 70-55 with just over nine minutes to play. The Wildcats were able to keep the Bruins at bay thanks to their hot shooting and dominant rebounding. PIU got as close as 9 points on a Timothy Worles 3 pointer with 5:25 left. The Wildcats empathically answered that shot with back to back dunks by Mario Irby and Sterling. Irby would add two more baskets to make the final margin 85-73.

The Wildcats outrebounded the Bruins by 18 and were plus 8 in Assist/TO ratio, which matched a season high. Joshua Cohen posted his first career double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Robbie Sterling added 14 points, while Jay Keller had 11, and Mario Irby had 10, all in the second half. JWU shot 50.7% from the field and tied their season-high with 9 made three pointers.

The Wildcats wrap up the home schedule Friday night as they host Mid-Atlantic Christian. This game has been selected as the annual "White Out" game as all fans are encouraged to wear white to the game. Tip time is set for 7:30pm.

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