Swannanoa, NC -- The seventh-ranked Wildcats made the trip to Swannanoa tonight to face off with the sixth-ranked Warren Wilson Owls (15-12) in a highly-anticipated contest as both teams try to shore up their postseason chances. The game was physical and hard fought from the opening tip. JWU (15-10) was able to withstand a late Warren Wilson run to claim a 63-59 win.
Joshua Cohen made three consecutive three pointers in the game's first six minutes to help give the Wildcats an 11-9 lead. The teams battled back and forth over the next nine and a half minutes as the largest lead either side could mount was three points. David Bargamento hit a right corner three and followed that up with a jumper on the next JWU possession to put the Wildcats ahead by six, 24-18, at the 4:04 mark. Nick Crawford finished off the half with a conventional three point play, giving JWU their largest lead of the period, 27-20.
Two DeQuincey Bennett three pointers sandwiched around a Tramain Parker bucket pushed the Wildcat lead into double figures at 35-24 with just over fifteen minutes to play. JWU was able to keep Warren Wilson at bay over the next nine minutes, maintaning at least a ten-point lead during that stretch. Four consecutive turnovers resulted in eleven Owl points, and suddenly the Wildcats trailed 55-54 with just over three minutes remaining. JWU was able to regain their poise and clamp down on defense, outscoring Warren Wilson 9-4 in the game's final three minutes to secure the 63-59 win.
Tramain Parker led the way for the Wildcats with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Rickey Porter and Nick Crawford also just missed out on double-doubles themselves, with 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 12 points, 8 rebounds respectively.
The Wildcats return home Saturday for the first of three consecutive home games as they take on Trinity Baptist College at 4 PM.