PROVIDENCE, RI – A defensive stand in the closing seconds secured a GNAC victory for the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team on Saturday. The Wildcats defeated Anna Maria College, 58-56.
Anna Maria: 9-15, 6-5 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 6-17, 5-5 GNAC
Tara Murphy (JWU): 12 points, 7 rebounds
Marissa Cottrell (JWU): 11 points, 6 rebounds
Amber Wilson (AMC): 25 points, 5 rebounds
Ally Mishol knocked down a jumper with 1:56 left in the game to give JWU a 58-54 advantage. A minute later, Franceshesca Hammond made a basket, but the AMCATS would miss on their last two trips down the floor, including a Sierra Johnson shot at the buzzer.
The two teams were evenly matched in the first half with neither squad holding a lead higher than four points. Johnson made a three-pointer in the final minute of the second quarter to send AMC into the locker room up 30-27.
Late in the third quarter, Johnson & Wales took control. Britney Gallagher knocked down a pair of free throws to give JWU a 46-36 lead with 2:41 left in the quarter.
Both teams hit three three-pointers and 11 free throws with JWU's extra basket making the difference. The Wildcats also had a 42-33 rebounding advantage.
Leading all scorers was AMC's Amber Wilson with 25 points and five rebounds. Johnson kicked in 10 as the duo combined for 63 percent of the AMCATS' scoring.
The Wildcats go on the road Tuesday to take on Albertus Magnus at 6 p.m.