Buies Creek, NC - The Johnson & Wales Charlotte Men's Basketball Team wrapped up the 2019 calendar year with a game against Campbell University on Saturday. The Wildcats, ranked #1 in USCAA D2, fell to the NCAA D1 Camels 82-59.
The Wildcats were on the board first when Malik Bullock connected with a jumper, but Milos Stajcic put the Camels ahead with a three pointer soon after. CJ Miller's dunk would give JWU the 6-5 lead three minutes into the game, before Jordan Whitefield and Robert Hobson traded baskets to take the game to 8-8. From there the Camels went on a 9-0 run to separate from the Wildcats. Campbell capped a 21-4 run when Stajcic hit two free throws to make it 29-12. The Wildcats slowly whittled the lead down to 11 points, culminating with a three from Hobson with 10 seconds left to make the score 42-31 at the half.
Hobson knocked down another three to start the second half, cutting the lead down to single digits at 42-34. With 13 minutes left to play the Wildcats clawed to within 5 points when Antonio Smith knocked down a three pointer after a Zyrion Wilkins offensive rebound, making the score 51-46 . After a free throw and bucket from the Camels, a Hobson three again brought the Wildcats within 5 with 12 to go. Over the next five minutes, Campbell went on a 12-0 run to take the lead back to 17 points. The hosts didn't look back from there, extending their lead to 24 before the game concluded with the final of 82-59.
JWU held Campbell to 46% from the field, but the Wildcats managed just 36% themselves. The Camels held a 12 point advantage from the line, going 17-21 compared to 5-9 for the visiting Wildcats. The rebounding battle was closely contested, with Campbell edging JWU 40-39, but the Wildcats scored 13 second chance points to Campbell's 12. The deciding factor may have been CU's bench, which held a distinct advantage as they outscored the Wildcats' bench 35-18. Robert Hobson led all players with 20 points while Antonio Smith added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Wildcats.
"Was not our best effort today. Even then we were still in a position to win in the middle of the second half and did not execute the way we needed to down the stretch," remarked JWU Head Coach Dan Larkin. "We will learn from this experience and get better when we return from break."
The Wildcats return to the court on January 7th as they host Trinity Baptist College at 7:00 pm.