COLORADO SPRINGS – Swarming defense and a pair of 30-point performances powered the Johnson & Wales men's basketball team to a convincing 95-73 win over Iowa Wesleyan on Saturday night.
Andrew Romero III recorded a double-double with a game-high 35 points to go with 10 rebounds while fellow senior guard Jontrell Herman scored 31 points, his second 30-point effort in as many games this season.
The Wildcats totaled 15 steals and converted 23 Iowa Wesleyan (0-2) turnovers into 34 points to start the season 2-0 as they wrapped up the Tiger Tip-Off Tournament at Colorado College.
JWU held a lead for more than 35 minutes of the contest at Reid Arena, taking a 47-39 advantage at the break and extending the margin to as many as 29 late in the second half.
Herman (Duck Hill, Miss.) and Romero (Northglenn, Colo.) had five steals apiece while King Grant-Perry, Jordan Miles, Tony Clardy, Taka Hall and Kevin Avalos came up with one swipe apiece for a JWU team that totaled 60 points in the paint.
Grant-Perry (Cleveland, Ohio) added eight points and four boards, Bailey Stephens finished with six points and four rebounds and Hall (San Marcos, Calif.) put up 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting and six rebounds as a major spark off the bench for coach Quintin Grogan's squad.
The Wildcats trailed early but quickly erased the deficit on a 6-0 spurt that included a pair of layups by Romero and one by Charles Young. JWU went up by 11 multiple times in the first half before settling for the eight-point cushion. The Wildcats added to their lead coming out of the break, outscoring the Tigers 8-1 the first four minutes of the second half to take a double-digit lead for the rest of the night.
The Wildcats return to Colorado College next weekend for the Rocky Mountain Thanksgiving Classic, facing off against George Fox on Friday and UT Tyler on Saturday. Both games tip at 5 p.m.