PROVIDENCE, RI – The Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team tried to dig itself out of an early hole, but Saint Joseph's College of Maine had too much firepower in the quarterfinals of the GNAC Tournament on Tuesday. The sixth-seeded Monks defeated number three seed Wildcats, 83-80.
Saint Joseph's (Me.): 19-7
Johnson & Wales: 13-13
Brian Hogan-Gary (JWU): 32 points, 8 rebounds
Randall Ferdinand (JWU) 18 points, 8 rebounds
Darian Berry (SJC): 25 points, 8 rebounds
It's the first time the Wildcats have not gotten past the opening round of the GNAC Tournament since the 2011-12 campaign.
Saint Joseph's came out firing, particularly from three-point range. A Jack Casale three-pointer and a layup from Darian Berry pushed the Monks' lead to 25-11 midway through the first half. SJC went into the locker room up 51-38 thanks to 10 three-pointers.
Johnson & Wales worked its way back into the game and cut the lead to 80-78 on a Matt Madoian three-pointer with 1:35 remaining. The Monks had their chances to ice the game from the free throw line, but came up empty numerous times. Unfortunately, the Wildcats could not cash in at the other end, including a 30-foot shot by Madoian at the buzzer.
Topping the Wildcats was Brian Hogan-Gary with 32 points – including 23 in the second half - and eight rebounds. Randall Ferdinand was next at 18 while Donovian Maxfield at 13 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Saint Joseph's had a pair of 20-point scorers, led by Berry's 25 points. Casale had a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double.
The Monks made their living from behind the arc, shooting 15-of-32 compared to just five three-balls by the Wildcats.
Head coach Jamie Benton will have to replace senior starters Ferdinand and Madoian, but does return Hogan-Gary who ranks eighth in the NCAA with 15 double-doubles.