NASHUA, NH – Junior Jarell Lawson kept the Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team in the first half at Rivier then the rest of the Wildcats joined in during the second half. Johnson & Wales picked up its first win of the season as it beat the Raiders, 79-66, on Thursday.
Johnson & Wales: 1-3, 1-1 GNAC
Rivier: 1-5, 0-2 GNAC
Lawson (Providence, RI) surpassed his previous career-high of 18 points in the first half alone. He accounted for 20 of JWU's 35 first-half points. Lawson hit four three-pointers on his way to 27 points and also grabbed a personal-best eight rebounds.
The Raiders jumped out to an early 15-3 lead over the first five minutes. The Wildcats clawed back and went on a 17-5 run over the middle 10 minutes to tie the game and eventually take the lead for good.
Sophomore Randall Ferdinand (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) came off the bench to score a season-high 21 points and grab six rounds. Freshman Demani Spence (New York, NY) was next at nine points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Free throws were a big key to the Wildcats' success. Johnson & Wales was 24-of-27 (88.9 percent) from the charity stripe while the Raiders went 8-of-14 (57.1 percent). Ferdinand was 8-of-8 from the line.
The Wildcats play their home opener on Saturday when they take on Albertus Magnus at 1 p.m. There will be free giveaways at the door and fans will have a chance to win a free Apple TV.