PROVIDENCE, RI– A fourth-quarter surge propelled the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team to the semifinals of the GNAC Tournament. The Wildcats outscored visiting Rivier University 18-7 in the final 10 minutes for the 66-52 victory on Tuesday.
Johnson & Wales: 19-7
The win extended Johnson & Wales' school-record winning streak to 11 games. The 19 victories tie the 2014-15 squad for the second-most in school history.
A Savanna Butterfield jumper tied the game at 23-23 with 5:31 remaining in the first half. The Wildcats finished the opening 20 minutes with a 12-6 run to take a 35-29 lead into the locker room. All 12 points were scored by the duo of Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, RI) and Ally Mishol (Longmeadow, Mass.).
Butterfield hit another jumper with 27 seconds left in the third quarter to cut the JWU margin to 48-45. Johnson & Wales started the final period on a 13-0 run to put the game out of reach.
JWU had five players with nine or more points, topped by Ashley Thompson's (Bellingham, Mass.) team-high 16 points to go along with seven rebounds. Pederzani was next with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds. Mishol added 11 off the bench and Kimberly Viafara (Woodside, NY) just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Leading all scorers was Kaylee Kacvees with 17 points to go along with five rebounds. Butterfield had a 16-point, 11 rebound double-double as well as four blocks.
The Wildcats held the Raiders to 35 percent shooting, including 2-13 in the fourth quarter and RU failed to make a 3-pointer the whole game. Johnson & Wales shot 42.2 percent (27-64) from the floor and were 71.4 percent (10-14) from the charity stripe. JWU scored 15 points off 12 Rivier turnovers.
Johnson & Wales is on the road for the next round of the tournament. The Wildcats travel to St. Joseph's (Me.) on Thursday.