PROVIDENCE, RI – Tenacious defense translated into a high-scoring offense in the second half for the Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team. The Wildcats outscored visiting St. Joseph's College, 54-27, in the final 20 minutes on their way to an 82-52 victory on Saturday.
St. Joseph's: 11-10, 8-6 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 10-9, 10-3 GNAC
JWU found itself down six points less than two minutes into the game, but battled back to take a 25-17 lead as Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, Conn.) scored eight-straight points. The Monks responded with an 8-3 run to close the half with the Wildcats up 28-25. Two and a half minutes into the second period, SJC got the lead down to one, 32-31, but Johnson & Wales answered with a 17-2 run that was capped by an Israel Johnson (Southampton, NY) three with 11:51 to play.
Jernigan led all scorers with a game-high 29 points to go along with seven rebounds and five steals. Three Wildcats reached double figures as Edson Dascy (Fall River, Mass.) was next at 17 points and five boards while Johnson scored eight of his 10 points in the second half. Jarell Lawson (Providence, RI) pulled in a game-high nine rebounds.
St. Joseph's had a balanced scoring attached with five players contributing seven or more points. Leading the team was Quinn Richardson-Newton at 12 points while Andrew Ruffen added 10 off the bench.
The Wildcats shot a blazing 64.3 percent in the second half on their way to a 46.9-31.6 margin for the game. Johnson & Wales capitalized on 20 Monk turnovers for 18 points. JWU also had the advantage for three pointers (7-4) and free throw percentage (88.2-70.6).
JWU continues its three-game home stand on Tuesday against Anna Maria at 7 p.m.