Charlotte, NC -- Two hours after learning they were invited to the USCAA Division II Basketball National Championships as the #4 seed, the JWU Men's Basketball Team took to the court to play College of Faith for the second time this season. The Wildcats won the first game by twenty-seven points, but the Warriors did not go down as easily this time. The final score was 95-75, but College of Faith was within striking distance at 78-68 with just three and a half minutes to play. JWU withstood several runs and showed strength down the stretch to pull away and remain untouched in the Student Center.
JWU got on the board first on a jumper from Rickey Porter on the first possession. By 14:54, the lead had stretched to 13-7 on a putback from Tramain Parker. With just over ten minutes left in the half, JWU was up by eight at 22-14, but not before College of Faith had trimmed the lead to two just minutes before. JWU used platoon subs at nine minutes with a fresh line change, but College of Faith began creeping back and cut the lead to six with seven minutes left in the half. Andrew Williams and Tramain Parker sparked a Wildcat run in the closing minutes, and JWU went to the locker room with a ten-point lead.
The Warriors came out aggressively in the opening minutes of the second half and were only down by two points at the 17:30 mark. A DeQuincey Bennett three-pointer gave the Wildcats a little bit of breathing room before College of Faith closed the gap to two points once again three minutes later. Another Bennett three and a lay-up from Rickey Porter again extended the margin to seven at 59-52. At 11:18, JWU led by ten points after an Andrew Williams steal created a transition lay-up for Rickey Porter. Over the next eight minutes, JWU led by as many as fourteen points before College of Faith cut the lead to ten points with 3:31 to play. DeQuincey Bennett had two jumpers, two steals, a strong rebound tip-in, and a layup over the next two minutes to help put the game out of reach. The Wildcats hit free throws down the stretch to hold onto their lead and finish out the game with a twenty-point win.
Tramain Parker led the Wildcats with 30 points (21 in the first half) and 10 rebounds. Rickey Porter (21), DeQuincey Bennett (19), and Andrew Williams (12) were also in double-figures. JWU improves to 19-10 on the season and can post its first twenty-win regular season with a victory in its season finale on Thursday. The Wildcats take on Columbia International University at 7:30 PM. Their first game in the USCAA National Championships will be March 4 at 3:15 PM against Penn State York.