Posted: Jan 08, 2015
Charlotte, NC – The Johnson & Wales Men's Basketball Team took on Warren Wilson College in the second half of the USCAA doubleheader Thursday night in the Student Center. The Wildcats are ranked #12 in the most recent USCAA Coaches Poll, and the Owls are currently #7. The teams share five opponents this season with the Wildcats beating St. Joseph's, the Owls beating Greensboro College, and both teams beating Crown College and Mid-Atlantic Christian University. Both teams lost to Penn State Fayette in the JWU Tip-Off Classic in November. After a moment of silence in memory of Chef Shane Pearson, the teams hit the floor for a great match-up to start 2015.
The Owls attacked early and jumped out to a 12-2 lead on JWU in the first five minutes using full-court pressure to force quick shots from the Wildcats without running their offense. After a timeout, the Wildcats found a rhythm and put together seven quick points on three straight possessions to close the gap at 12-9. The Owls responded with a run of their own and took several Wildcat charges to regain a 19-9 lead at the 11:00 mark. A Rickey Porter basket closed the deficit to 19-15 with nine minutes to play, prompting a Warren Wilson timeout. The Owls momentarily called off their full court press and dropped into zone defense to allow outside shooting from the Wildcats. DeQuincey Bennett began the three-point attack with a fall-away contested three-point basket, and the Owls were forced back into man-to-man defense, holding a three-point lead. Two baskets by Joshua Cohen gave the Wildcats their first lead at the 6:00 mark at 24-23, and Rickey Porter followed with a tough jumper in the lane to push the lead to three. The Owls rallied to regain the lead on strong defense and shooting and led 36-31 at halftime.
Rickey Porter started the scoring in the second half for the Wildcats on a post move in the lane, and the Wildcats were able to take the lead at 41-39 within three minutes on a Tramain Parker three-pointer. DeQuincey Bennett followed with another three to force a Warren Wilson timeout at 15:53. By 11:44, the Wildcats had moved ahead by seven points at 48-41 on a steal and a lay-up by Nick Crawford, and they took their first double-digit lead soon thereafter on a hard drive and three-point play by Miles Boone. The Wildcats continued to gain momentum with baskets by Tramain Parker, DeQuincey Bennett and Nick Crawford as the lead grew to fifteen points. The lead reached twenty points with just over seven minutes to play on a Nick Crawford layup. The Wildcats continued to attack the basket and play aggressive defense for the duration of the game. Warren Wilson closed the lead to as few as fourteen points before the Wildcats closed out the game by a score of 78-59.
The Wildcats were led by DeQuincey Bennett with 20 points on 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Joshua Cohen added 18 points, and Tramain Parker had 16. They improve to 7-9 overall and add a victory over a USCAA top-ten team to their resume. JWU is at home again next weekend when they host College of Faith on Friday at 7:30 PM and USCAA opponent Barber-Scotia College on Saturday at 3:00 PM.