Johnson & Wales closed out 2011 and their 5280 Classic with a well earned 84-70 win over Bethany College on Saturday afternoon. The 'Cats beat the Swedes earlier this season in Lindsborg and looked to extend their dominating history of Bethany. The Wildcats opened the scoring but BC wiped away the deficit and took their own short-lived lead. Eric Gardzina looked unmarked for most of the afternoon allowing him to easily drive to the basket and keep the game in JWU's favor.
Headed into the locker room the two teams looked evenly matched with Johnson & Wales holding the slight 43-41 advantage. The second period saw Bethany struggling to find their shot while the Wildcats maintained their momentum building a 10 point advantage over the Swedes. Bethany started to figure out their shot and scoring midway through the period but JWU kept the same pressure outrebounding Bethany 42-36. In the closing minutes, Johnson & Wales did their best to run down the clock forcing the Swedes to foul and send them to the charity stripe. By the final buzzer, the Wildcats had secured the win and improved to 7-3 all time against the Swedes.
Gardzina finished the game with 27 points and a game high 11 boards while Aaron Lampkin had 5 assists for the 'Cats. Clayton Goggins had 20 points for Bethany and Haydon Parks picked up 10 rebounds.
Johnson & Wales (4-13) will travel to Colorado Springs on Tuesday when they take on the US Air Force Academy at 7pm in Clune Arena.