NEWTON, Mass. – During the first half of its game at Lasell, the Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team's three-point defense wasn't up to its standards. The Wildcats turned up the defensive pressure in the final 20 minutes and came away with an 80-71 win over the Lasers on Tuesday night.
Lasell: 8-11, 6-4 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 11-8, 8-2, GNAC
Lasell made 8-of-14 from behind the arc as it took a 44-36 lead into the locker room. The Lasers lead grew to as many as 12 in the second half and the host had a 61-51 advantage midway through the second half. From there JWU put the clamps on defensively, outscoring Lasell 29-10 the rest of the way. The Wildcats held the Lasers to 0-for-15 from three-point range in the second half.
Senior Jarell Lawson scored all 11 of his points in the final 10 minutes of the game. Freshman Nate Patenaude chipped in six points during that run as part of his 17 points. The rookie is averaging 14 points in his last four games.
Keeping Johnson & Wales in the game during the first half was junior Randall Ferdinand as he scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the opening 20 minutes. After reaching 20 points only once last year, Ferdinand has reached that mark three times in his last six contests.
Ferdinand was key to JWU dominating inside where the Wildcats scored 40 points in the paint. Johnson & Wales also got 22 points off 15 Lasell turnovers.
Johnson & Wales is home on Thursday to host Saint Joseph's at 7 p.m.