Charlotte, NC - Johnson & Wales (5-9) ended the 2013 portion of the home schedule on a high note Wednesday night. They rallied from a nine point halftime deficit to defeat Averett (1-4) 76-72.
The Wildcats jumped on the Cougars early in the first half building a six point advantage behind 3 pointers from Kindrick Anderson and Joshua Cohen. Averett answered with a 12-0 run to take a 19-13 lead with 12:32 left in the half. Their lead would increase to fourteen points over the next four and a half minutes. JWU cut that lead in half, trailing 31-24 at the 5:00 mark after a Cohen layup. Averett's Charles Bryant scored 4 points in the last 5 minutes of the period to stake the Cougars to a 35-26 halftime lead.
Again the Wildcats started a half with a fourish. They used a 17-7 run over the first six minutes of the second period to take a 42-41 lead. Anderson and DeQuincey Bennett scored 13 of the 17 points during that run. The Wildcats would extend their lead to 6 a few minutes later on a Clarence Ellis floater in the lane. Averett's Bradley Robinson scored the next 7 points of the game to put the Cougars back in front 55-54. The game remained tight over the next four minutes until Averett forged a six point lead at 70-64 with 2:35 left. JWU turned up the defensive pressure, holding the Cougars scoreless for over two minutes, while ripping off 10 points of their own to go up 74-70. Averett would make one final shot, but it was too little, too late.
Cohen led the Wildcats with 18 points, followed close behind by Anderson's 17 and Bennett's 16. Nick Crawfrod grabbed 5 rebounds, handed out 4 assists, and had 3 steals and a block. Duane Chisholm and Anderson also recorded 4 assists on the night.
The Wildcats board a plane tomorrow bound for Providence as they travel to take part in the inaugural JWU Cup. They will take on JWU North Miami on Friday at 5:30pm.