Charlotte, NC – 16th ranked Johnson & Wales (10-18) hosted Piedmont International (4-17) this evening. The game featured hot shooting by both teams. The Wildcats overcame an early 2nd half deficit to pull away for a 90-72 win.
Piedmont International's Carl Tyson hit two 3's to give the Bruins a 6-3 lead early in the first half. The Wildcats' DeQuincey Bennett scored 5 straight points to give JWU an 12-11 lead at the 15:02 mark. The Bruins went on a 16-3 run in the middle of the half, turning a four point deficit into a 9 point lead, 31-22. JWU closed the half on a 14-9 spurt, but still trailed by 4 at the break.
A decisive 7-0 JWU run four minutes into the second half took them from down one to up six. They would never relinquish that lead. PIU would get as close as five points on a Carl Tyson 3 pointer at the 12:03 mark, but the Wildcats responded with a 10-4 run that pushed their lead to double figures for the first time with just under ten minutes remaining. Clarence Ellis's 3 pointer staked JWU to its largest lead, 90-70 with just over two minutes remaining, and the Wildcats ran out the clock on a 90-72 win.
Nick Crawford was the star of the night, registering the first triple-double in program history. He finished the night with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks. DeQuincey Bennett was the benefactor of several of Crawford's assists, as he led the Wildcats with 26 points. Bobby Scriven set a new career high with 15 points off the bench, and Duane Chisholm added 11 points.
The Wildcats will host Mid-Atlantic Christian University on Saturday, February 15th. Tip-off is set for 3pm.