NEW HAVEN, Conn. – For the second time in three seasons the Johnson & Wales University, men's basketball team is on top of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. The Wildcats went on the road to upset top seed Albertus Magnus College, 84-80, on Saturday for the GNAC championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Albertus Magnus: 21-16
Johnson & Wales: 19-9
Albertus Magnus led by as many as nine, 59-50, on a Liam Perryman free throw with 12:31 to play. The Wildcats clawed their way back and took a 67-66 advantage on a Jarell Lawson three-pointer at the 6:24 mark.
Jahmerikah Green-Younger put the Falcons up 76-72 with three minutes left. JWU came up with a pair of defensive stops and got a layup from Nate Patenaude as well as a Lawson three-pointer to take the lead with a minute remaining. The Wildcats knocked down seven free throws to seal the victory.
Johnson & Wales pulled ahead midway through the first half when Patenaude made a layup to put the Wildcats up 26-19. Albertus Magnus battled back and took a 36-34 lead on a Green-Younger three-pointer. The Falcons took a 40-39 advantage into the half.
All five JWU starters reached double figures. Patenaude and Matt Madoian each tossed in 14 points while Hogan-Gary and Ferdinand were next with 13 and 12, respectively.
The difference in the game came at the free throw line. Johnson & Wales was 24-for-37 while the host was 14-of-26
Johnson & Wales will now wait to see who it plays in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The selection show is scheduled for Monday at 12:30 p.m.