PROVIDENCE, RI – The charity stripe wasn't very kind to the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team on Wednesday. The Wildcats nearly survived a second-half push by visiting Bridgewater State University, but the Bears prevailed, 72-70.
Bridgewater State: 4-9
Johnson & Wales: 8-6
The two teams were nearly deadlocked after the opening period, but the Wildcats grabbed control in the second quarter. JWU held the Bears to just two points during a five-minute span and built a 33-22 lead on a Mia James layup at the 2:03 mark. Six different Wildcats scored during that run and JWU took a 35-27 advantage into the half.
Out of the half, Bridgewater State turned up the defensive pressure and swung the lead in its favor. The Bears outscored the Wildcats, 33-18, in the third period to capture a 60-53 advantage. Olivia Dziadyk scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the third stanza.
Kylee Piché's free throw at the 8:23 mark of the fourth quarter put the Bears up, 63-53, but over the next six minutes the Wildcats whittled the lead down to one, 65-64, on a Tera-nay Lee layup. Tiondra Hands' jumper with 37 seconds remaining gave JWU the 70-69 lead, but out of a timeout Piché made a layup to give BSU the lead for good.
JWU did not help itself from the free throw line. The Wildcats went 14-for 30 (46.7 percent) at the charity stripe. Bridgewater State was only slightly better at 52.6 percent. BSU also had a 48-28 points in the point advantage.
Leading all scorers was Maddy Moro as she produced her fifth double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Gallagher followed with 19 points and Hands added 13.
Four different Bears scored eight or more points, topped by Dziadyk. Piché came off the bench to score 17 points. Nicole Bostick nearly had a double-double with eight rebounds and eight points.
Johnson & Wales opens GNAC play Saturday when it hosts Lasell at 1 p.m.