PROVIDENCE, RI – Even though it's only two days into the New Year, 2020 hasn't been merry and bright for the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team. The Wildcats dropped a 79-60 decision to Eastern Connecticut State University on Thursday.
Eastern Connecticut State: 6-2
Johnson & Wales: 7-5
Johnson & Wales fought off an early deficit as a Britney Gallagher layup and Tiondra Hands three-pointer pulled the Wildcats with 10-9 midway through the first period. Unfortunately, JWU allowed the Warriors to finish the half on a 12-4 run.
The Wildcats struggled at the offensive end of the floor in the second quarter. JWU only made one basket in the opening seven minutes of the stanza and that allowed the Warriors to build a 42-16 advantage on an Aiyana Ward layup. ECSU took a 44-24 lead into the break.
While the Wildcats played the Warriors even in the second half, JWU would not truly threaten the visitors in the final two periods. Gallagher hit the first of two free throws at the 6:18 mark of the third quarter to cut the margin to 47-34, but that's as close as JWU would get the rest of the way.
ECSU dominated JWU on the inside with a 48-35 rebounding advantage as well as 42 points in the paint. The Warriors also forced the Wildcats into 17 turnovers.
Only two Wildcats reached double figures, led by Hands' game-high 19 points. Gallagher followed with 12 points and Maddy Moro just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Marissa Cottrell also snared 10 boards.
Julie Keckler knocked down four of ECSU's six three-pointers on her way to a team-high 17 points. Anna Barry had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Sabrina LeMere came off the bench to score 14 points.
The Wildcats are on the road Saturday to face Salve Regina at 3 p.m.