PROVIDENCE, RI – The Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team overcame a slow start to the game, but couldn't replicate that in the second half. No. 18 Nichols outscored the Wildcats, 43-31, in the final 20 minutes on their way to the 86-71 decision on Tuesday.
#18 Nichols: 9-0
Johnson & Wales: 3-6
Justin Bullock (JWU): 30 points, 10 rebounds
Brian Hogan-Gary (JWU): 20 points, 12 rebounds
Deante Bruton (NC): 32 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists
Johnson & Wales did not score for the first four minutes of the opening half. The Bison took advantage of JWU's cold shooting to build a 13-0 lead.
JWU worked its way back into the game and pulled ahead, 29-27, on a Matt Madoian jumper at the 8:15 mark. Deante Bruton made a layup in the closing minute to send Nichols into the half with a 43-40 lead.
It was déjà vu to start the second half as another Bruton jumper gave the Bison a 66-51 lead at the 11:52 mark. Justin Bullock scored back-to-back baskets to cut the lead to 76-67 with five minutes to play, but that's as close as the Wildcats would get the rest of the way.
Posting a career-high 30 points was Bullock and he grabbed 10 boards for his first double-double. Brian Hogan-Gary recorded his fourth double-double of the year with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Bruton was one of four Nichols players in double figures with a season-high 32 points. Matt Morrow produced a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double.
Nichols shot 49.2 percent from the floor - including nine three-pointers – while limiting JWU to 35.7 percent.
JWU plays its last game before the holiday break on December 18 when it hosts Fisher at 7:30 p.m.