PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Strong fourth-quarter defense propelled the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team to victory on Wednesday. The Wildcats outscored visiting Thomas College, 23-19, in the final stanza on their way to a 74-66 triumph.
Johnson & Wales: 6-3
Kaylee Ravagli knocked down a three-pointer at the 4:06 mark of the first quarter to put TC up 12-6. Britney Gallagher scored five points and Marissa Cottrell hit a three-pointer to cap a 10-0 JWU run. A pair of Tiondra Hands free throws gave the Wildcats an 18-14 first quarter lead.
The two teams were nearly deadlocked until three minutes into the fourth quarter. Tera-nay Lee converted a three-point play that started an 8-0 run that pushed the JWU lead to 66-56. The Terriers got within five, but the Wildcats made all four of their free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Nearly half of JWU's 23 fourth-quarter points came off Thomas turnovers. The Wildcats forced the Terriers into 18 turnovers that JWU converted into 21 points. Johnson & Wales outshot Thomas 45.8-to-38.1 percent.
All five JWU starters scored at least eight points, led by Hands' career-high 23 points. Lee produced the best all-around game with 13 points 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals. Gallagher also had a baker's dozen.
Addie Brinkman paced the Terriers with a season-high 21 points while grabbing seven rebounds. Ravagli added 19 points and Malorie Weaver just missed a double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds.
The Wildcats go on the road Saturday to face Emerson at 1 p.m.