Charlotte, NC -- The Johnson & Wales Wildcats hosted the Mustangs of Mid-Atlantic Christian University in the first game of a USCAA doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats pulled away in the second half to cruise to a 85-55 victory.
Both teams came out with clear game plans with JWU feeding the ball inside and MACU pressing full court on defense. The game looked to be tight in the opening minutes, but JWU opened up a five-point lead on a Caleb Mercer lay-up off the press followed by a DeQuincey Bennett three-point basket on the next possession. The Wildcats improved their ball movement on offense and led by as many as seventeen points in the first half, taking a 25-8 lead off a three-point basket by Joshua Cohen. MACU reconfigured their game plan to find some opportunities to score against JWU's zone defense and cut the lead to as few as eight points at 33-25. JWU took an eleven-point lead into halftime, up 36-25.
JWU came out of the locker room hot and scored eight straight points to get to a more comfortable cushion of nineteen points at 44-25. By the 15:50 mark, a three by DeQuincey Bennett pushed the lead to twenty points, and another three by Joshua Cohen put JWU up by twenty-three, forcing a Mustang timeout with 13:34 to play. JWU continued to push the tempo for the rest of the game, capitalizing of their size, athleticism, and outside shooting accuracy to maximize their offensive opportunities.
JWU's largest lead was thirty-nine points with 5:30 left to play. The Wildcats were led by Rickey Porter with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Thiago Conceicao had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots. Joshua Cohen (15) and Herbert Coleman (10) were also in double figures for JWU. MACU's Marquice Sims led all scorers with 20 points. JWU's next game is November 19 at The University of North Carolina at Asheville. The game will be broadcast on the Big South Network, and Wildcat fans can watch here. Game time is 7:00 PM.