Ave Maria, FL - The Johnson & Wales Charlotte Men's Basketball Team concluded their two game Florida road trip with a clash versus NAIA #11 ranked Ave Maria University. The Wildcats fell to the Gyrenes 75-62.
The Wildcats went up early and held the lead for the first eight minutes of the game with their largest lead being five points, but Ave Maria would close the gap and take their first lead with 11:37 left in the first. The Gyrenes' lead would grow to 10 in the first, but the Wildcats would close the gap to four points by halftime for a score of 37-33. JWU would draw within two points on two separate occasions, but AMU would respond each time with runs of their own. With 2:23 left in the game, Johnson & Wales pulled within four points, but the Gyrenes would finish the game on an 11-2 run.
After shooting 46% in the first half, JWU was held to 32% in the second half, and were outrebounded 46-36 for the game. The Wildcats' bench outscored their counterparts, 25-7. Zyrion Wilkins led the Wildcats in scoring with 16 points, followed by Majerle Poole and Robert Hobson with 10 each. Poole paced JWU with 11 rebounds.
"Credit to Ave Maria; they are an exceptionally talented team. I thought in most aspects of the game, especially on the defensive side of the ball, we did what we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to win the game," commented JWU Head Coach Dan Larkin. "Offensively, it wasn't our best effort. I did not put our guys in best position to win today's game from a schematic standpoint. We have a lot of weapons on our roster and need more in our repertoire to be able to utilize certain guys at certain times."
The Wildcats return to the court on December 18th when they take on SC Faith A&M for a 8:00 tip-off.