Charlotte, NC -- The Wildcats welcomed Allen University to the Student Center Thursday evening for a doubleheader marking the second meeting this season between the two schools. The teams split the earlier match-ups with the JWU Women and the Allen Men emerging victorious, but it was the Allen Women and the JWU Men who owned the night this time.
The Lady Wildcats honored seniors TaShara Townsend and Marketa Smalls in a pregame ceremony, and both players started for JWU. The Wildcats struck first with a Justina Tyler basket, but the game remained close through the first ten minutes with the Wildcats clinging to a one-point lead at 12-11 with 9:18 on the clock. Over the next minute and a half, the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run to lead 22-11 and force an Allen timeout. They went on to push the lead to as many as seventeen points after a Courtney Pate three-pointer with just over five minutes left in the first half. The Lady Wildcats finished the half strong and took a fifteen-point lead into the locker room, up 38-23. The second half was a different story for JWU's young team. Allen began the second half with a 11-4 run that led to a JWU timeout after just three minutes of play. The Lady Yellow Jackets slowly creeped back into the game, chipping away at the Wildcat lead and eventually taking charge 52-51 with 7:45 to play. The score remained close with several ties and lead changes over the next few minutes before JWU was able to build a lead of three points with 2:03 remaining. The Lady Wildcats held onto this lead until Allen was able to score a lay-up from transition off a JWU missed shot to close the gap to one point. They fouled a JWU player and were able to get the ball back after the missed free throw and scored on their next possession to take the lead 63-62. Allen tacked on another free throw to match its largest lead of the game at two points with five seconds to play. JWU's final shot fell short as the Lady Wildcats lost a heartbreaker by a final score of 64-62.
The Lady Wildcats were led by Vanderia Shackleford with 19 points. Jaquana Pauling delivered another double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Courtney Pate (13), and Marketa Smalls (11) were also in double-figures. The team falls to 11-13 on the season (pending an earlier forfeit). JWU's last game is Monday evening at Barber-Scotia College. Game time is 6:00 PM.
The men's team has only lost twice in 2015, and one of those was at Allen University. The Wildcats were looking forward to their chance to avenge that loss and survived another close battle with Allen this evening. Joshua Cohen started the JWU scoring with a three-point basket, and JWU led by as many as eight points, capped by a three-point basket by DeQuincey Bennett with 13:09 left in the half. Despite five straight points by David Bargamento down the stretch, the Yellow Jackets were able to even the score, and the teams were knotted at 31 at halftime. Allen delivered the first strike in the second half, but the Wildcats came back with six straight points to counter. The score remained close for several minutes with ties at 44, 53, 56, and 58 points. Rickey Porter sparked a Wildcat run with a three-point play to put the Wildcats up by three at 61-58, and three-pointers by David Bargamento and DeQuincey Bennett helped push the lead to eight points at 68-60 with four minutes to go. A Tramain Parker floater and assist to Nick Crawford for a conventional three-point play helped provide a ten-point lead for the Wildcats as they looked to close out the Yellow Jackets. Another Rickey Porter basket and free throws from Nick Crawford and David Bargamento put the game on ice. Allen scored five points in the closing minute, but the Wildcats withstood the final push and pulled out the win by a score of 79-68.
The Wildcats continue their strong play to remain undefeated at home. They are 17-10 on the season and 10-2 in 2015. Rickey Porter (18 points and 10 rebounds) and Tramain Parker (14 points and 11 rebounds) turned in double-doubles tonight to lead the Wildcats. Joshua Cohen added 13 points, and David Bargamento had 11 off the bench. The Wildcats will travel to Barber-Scotia College to play the second half of a doubleheader Monday evening. Game time is 8:00 PM.
***Scheduling Update -- The men's game against College of Faith that was postponed earlier in the week will be played Tuesday, February 24 at the Student Center. Game time remains 7:30 PM.