NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Strong first-half defense propelled the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team to its eighth win in a row. The Wildcats stayed in the hunt to host a first round GNAC Tournament game with a 62-48 win at Norwich on Saturday.
Johnson & Wales: 16-7, 11-3 GNAC
Norwich: 14-9, 8-6 GNAC
Junior Ashley Thompson (Bellingham, Mass.) broke the school's career field goals made record with her 10 baskets. She has 492 for her career, breaking Tehesha Parson's record of 484 set from 1997-99. Thompson led all players with 21 points to go along with seven rebounds.
The Wildcats started the second period on a 7-0 run, fueled by five points from Thompson to build a 21-10 advantage at the 7:56 mark. The Cadets got the margin to nine, 49-40, in the fourth period but Ally Mishol (Longmeadown, Mass.) and Thompson hit back-to-back shots to push it back to double digits.
Guard Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, RI) was the only other Wildcat to reach double digits as she scored 16 and handed out four assists. Kimberly Viafara (Woodside, NY) pulled in a game-high eight rebounds.
JWU forced Norwich into 19 turnovers, which it converted into 17 points. The Cadets had a 36-24 advantage for points in the paint. The Wildcats shot 47.3 percent from the floor, compared to NU's 42.3 percent.
Johnson & Wales plays its final road game of the regular season on Tuesday when it travels to Mount Ida for a 7 p.m. tipoff.