Johnson & Wales traveled to Point Lookout, Missouri for the first of two contests this weekend against College of the Ozarks.
The host Bobcats looked to have the momentum early in the contest with a 6-2 lead through the first two and a half minutes of play. The Wildcats continued to chip at the small lead that Ozarks held and were able to keep the contest within a possession or two. With just over six minutes left in the first half, Ozarks started to build some distance. With 5:50 left in the first period, College of the Ozarks was up 29-21 on the 'Cats. The Wildcat's offense kept hitting their shots late but CofO maintained their shooting and took a 38-30 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Bobcats opened the lead to 13 points after the first minute of action. Through much of the early second half, College of the Ozarks maintained their near double-digit lead. With just over seven minutes to play the Wildcat's offense started to pick up. A jumper by Andrew Romero III (Northglenn, Colo.) with 5:44 left on the clock allowed the 'Cats to cut the lead down to just two points. JWU went up 71-69 with three minutes left to capture their first lead of the half. The closing minutes saw the two teams trading buckets with the hosts holding off the 'Cats to capture the 80-76 victory.
Romero had a game high 31 points for Johnson & Wales and finished with eight rebounds. Ethan Davidson had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats.
The two teams will face off again on Saturday at 3:00 pm CST.