Johnson & Wales University rebounded from a tough trip to the Pacific Northwest with an 85-75 victory over Willamette University on the final day of the 2011 Capital City/Bruce Henderson Memorial Holiday Tournament hosted by Corban University. The Wildcats found themselves competing in the seventh place contest against the Bearcats in the first contest of the day.
The Wildcats looked to be in trouble early in the competiton after Willamette put up an early 9-0 run to keep JWU at a distance. The 'Cats would start their own 7-2 run to pull the game to within four but the Bearcats kept their pace and again added some space between themselves and JWU. Trailing by as much as 16 points with 7 minutes to play, Caitlin Durkin and Samantha Neal started to find their shot and sunk four three point shots with a bucket by Durkin breaking the pattern to tie the game at 33. JWU kept their momentum and took a 43-38 lead into the break.
Second half action stayed the same way the first half ended with JWU solely in charge of the game. Down the stretch, the 'Cats never trailed again after tying at 33 and extending their own first half lead to as much as 13 points before taking the game 85-75.
Durkin finished the day with 33 points and went 6 of 8 from three point land. Neal and Victoria Huber each had 15 points for the 'Cats while Neal lead the team with 9 boards. Kaileigh Westermann had 20 points for the Bearcats and a game high 11 rebounds. Durkin was also named to the All-Tournament second team.
Johnson & Wales (8-4) will get a couple days off before taking on Rocky Mountain College and Arizona Christian University next weekend in Phoenix.