'Cats open long week with road loss

'Cats open long week with road loss

Johnson & Wales took on the New Mexico Highlands University Cowgirls in the back half of a home and home series. The Cowgirls took the previous matchup in Denver 81-73. The 'Cats looked to return the favor in front of NMHU's fans but came up short, dropping the contest 100-85.

Both squads came out evenly matched having played previously just three weeks ago. Each side knew who handled the ball when and what shots to look for. This knowledge kept the teams in check as they matched one anothers buckets to keep the game close in the first half. The 'Cats struggled from deep in the first half going just 5 of 15 from beyond the arc. Sarah FitzPatrick led the Wildcats in scoring in the first half with 13 points off the bench. JWU went into the break down 43-51 after the Cowgirls used a late surge to add points.

Coming out of halftime the Wildcats struggled hanging on to the ball, turning over the ball four times in the first two minutes. After a quick timeout, Samantha Neal and Ashley Engeln sank back to back three's to liven up the Johnson & Wales squad. Briana Gholston's offense on the other end of the court kept fueling the Cowgirls and allowed them to build a comfortable lead. NMHU had built enough of a lead that the 'Cats came up short in the end.

Engeln had 20 points for Johnson & Wales while FitzPatrick and Andrea Austin added another 15 each.  Jessica Heubner and Holly Kesterson both had a team high five boards. Huebner had three blocks in the game. Gholston had a game high 24 points to lead the Cowgirls in the win.

Johnson & Wales (9-13, 3-1) will return to Denver to host Colorado Christian on Wednesday night and then back to back home contests against Northern New Mexico on Friday and Saturday.