Uniontown, PA - The first day of the USCAA D2 men's basketball tournament is over, and the JWU men's basketball team has advanced to the final four with the 81-71 victory over #4 seed Southern Maine.
The first sixteen minutes of the opening half was tight, as Southern Maine never let JWU pull away. Johnson & Wales made eight first half three pointers in route to building a 37-24 lead with 3:35 left. The SeaWolves would answer, finishing the first half on a 8-0 run of their own. The teams headed into the locker room with Johnson & Wales holding a 37-32 lead. Kajuan Madden-McAfee and Robert Hobson combined to go 6-8 from the three point line in the first half, and led the Wildcats with 11 points each.
Southern Maine (22-7) continued their run into the second half, tying the game up at 39 after a 7-2 spurt to start the half. Paced by Atencio Martin's 19 second half points, the SeaWolves would briefly take a 44-43 lead with 15 minutes to play. The Wildcats responded with a 21-9 run over the next six and a half minutes, and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
The Wildcats' win was highlighted by 14 made threes on 30 attempts. JWU (20-9) overcame a 41-32 rebounding disadvantage with solid defense: 11 steals, 3 blocks, and 19 forced TO. Another important aspect of the game was the JWU bench who outscored their counterparts 39-0.
Hobson and Madden-McAfee each finished with 22 points for JWU. Hobson also contributed 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Majerle Poole added 12 points , 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Freshman Zyrion Wilkins had 10 points for the game.
This is the 2nd time in program history that JWU has won 20 games in a season. The Wildcats also improve to 3-0 all time in USCAA National Tournament quarterfinal games. JWU will play in the semi-finals on Tuesday, March 5th, at 7:00 pm. They will take on the winner of #1 Berkeley College-NY and #9 Penn State-York.