PROVIDENCE, RI – Strong three-point shooting guided the Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team to victory on Thursday. The Wildcats won their third game in a row by beating Eastern Connecticut State University, 78-61.
Eastern Connecticut State: 0-3
Johnson & Wales: 3-1
Justin Bullock (JWU): 26 points, 7 rebounds
Brian Hogan-Gary (JWU): 20 points, 16 rebounds
Jake Collagan (ECSU): 17 points, 4 assists
A Cory Muckle three-pointer at the 17:01 mark of the first half gave the Warriors a 7-6 lead, but JWU clamped down on defense and didn't allow another point for nearly 10 minutes. Five different Wildcats scored during that stretch with a pair of Brian Hogan-Gary free throws giving the hosts a 25-10 lead.
The lead dipped to nine, but JWU went into the half with a 39-26 margin. Johnson & Wales limited ECSU to 30.3 percent (10-of-33) shooting in the first half and a 35.3 percent (24-of-68) overall.
In the second half, the lead only got under single digits once, 50-49, on a Shawn Gashi layup at the 12:28 mark. It grew to as many as 73-53 on a Hogan-Gary layup with three minutes left.
Justin Bullock paced all players with 26 points – four off his career-high. The Spring Valley, N.Y. native was 5-of-8 from behind the arc as part of JWU's 50 percent rate (9-of-18).
Producing his third-straight double-double was Hogan-Gary with 20 points and 16 rebounds. JWU had a 51-35 rebounding advantage and made more free throws (15-of-17) than the Warriors took (5-of-8).
Jake Collagn led ECSU with 17 points, followed by 15 from Muckle and 14 from Thomas Close.
The Wildcats are on the road Saturday when they face NCAA Division II opponent Staten Island College at 1 p.m.