BOSTON – A Raquel Pederzani three-pointer with nine seconds remaining lifted the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team to its first GNAC victory of the season. The Wildcats went on the road to take down Emmanuel, 49-45, on Sunday in a game that was postponed a day by Winter Storm Helena.
Johnson & Wales: 6-5, 1-1 GNAC
Emmanuel: 6-5, 2-1 GNAC
Johnson & Wales took a 28-24 lead into the locker room and were up three, 39-36, on a Pederzani (Coventry, RI) jumper with 2:05 remaining in the third quarter. The Saints went on a 6-0 run with Jen Chalk hitting back-to-back jumpers to put EC up 42-39 at the 7:02 mark of the last frame. JWU wouldn't get the lead back until Pederzani drained the three. Kristen Habbel (Phoenixville, Pa.) knocked down two free throws with two seconds left to seal the victory.
Pederzani led all players with 17 points and was one of three Wildcats in double figures. Junior center Ashley Thompson (Bellingham, Mass.) was 7-of-17 from the floor as part of her 15 points. Ally Mishol (Longmeadow, Mass) was next with 12 points and six boards.
The Wildcats' pressure defense was the difference in the game. Johnson & Wales forced Emmanuel into 22 turnovers, which JWU converted into 22 points. Emmanuel made more free throws (14-of-17), than the Wildcats took (6-of-8).
Johnson & Wales starts a four-game home stand on Tuesday against Saint Joseph's (ME) at 7 p.m. Tuesday's contest is designated as the team's Big Game with free giveaways at the door as well as halftime contests.