Charlotte, NC- The JWU women's basketball team played in the inaugural Eastern Metro Athletic Conference basketball tournament on Friday as they took on Warren Wilson College. The Wildcats, entering the tournament as the #3 seed, dispatched the #2 Owls 73-60.
After the Wildcats jumped to a 6-0 lead, Warren Wilson scored 8 unanswered for their only lead of the game. JWU regained the lead on an Ineesha Hankerson lay-up with 2:24 left in the first quarter and never trailed again. The Wildcats would extend their lead to as many as 18 points. Johnson & Wales played excellent defense throughout the game, holding WWC to 28% shooting from the field while forcing 16 turnovers. The Wildcats also tallied 9 steals and 8 blocks for the game while holding the Owls' leading scorer, Danasia Dumas, to 6-23 shooting. Hankerson and Chase Muhammad led the way defensively with 4 blocks and 3 steals, respectively.
On the offensive side, JWU went 7-17 from the three point line, including Muhammad's 5-9 performance. She led all scorers with 25 points. In addition to Hankerson's 4 blocks, she added 12 points and 13 rebounds. Kayla Kent chipped in 11 points for the Wildcats as well.
"What a great team effort. I thought everyone played really well together. We knew we would get their best shot, but we were really focused on what we were trying to do," commented Interim Head Coach Aram Parunak. "Tomorrow will be another tough one, but we are excited about the opportunity to compete again."
The Wildcats will continue their quest to become inaugural EMAC tournament champions on Saturday, Feb. 23, as they take on #1 seed Apprentice School in the finals. That game is scheduled for a 1:00 pm tip-off.