Johnson & Wales kicked off their 2011-12 home schedule with a tough 62-75 loss to the #11 McPherson College Bulldogs. The Wildcats opened the contest in front of a near packed house as part of the 2011 Wildcat Classic.
JWU started out the gate at a slower pace then expected while the Bulldogs pushed defense at all corners of the court. Johnson & Wales started building momentum midway through the first half but McPherson was already holding a double digit lead. The Wildcats fought under the basket for the rebounds but found themselves sending McPherson to the free throw line.
The Bulldogs kept a quick pace going throughout the half taking a 34-20 lead into the break. After the intermission, Johnson & Wales was finding their rhythm but the Bulldogs hadn't lost theirs. The 'Cats pushed on every possession but found themselves in foul trouble early in the second period. Persistance paid off with JWU outscoring McPherson in the second half but their first half deficit proved too much to overcome as they fell 62-75 to McPherson.
Jake Campbell had 13 points for Johnson & Wales and Chris O'Neal added another 12. Kahler Grandbouche brought down 7 rebounds for JWU. Samson Shivers had 18 points for McPherson and Jordan Crawford had 7 boards.
JWU will host Arizona Christian University on Sunday at 1pm in their first Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) contest of the season. McPherson will play the ACU Firestorm on Saturday at 5pm at the Wildcat Center.