JWU opened the weekend at the Sterling College Classic with a Friday night contest against the host Warriors.
The Warriors got off to a hot start jumping out to a 11-4 lead after six and a half minutes of action. Sterling continued to lead throughout the middle of the opening half, building their lead to double-digits with just ove five minutes to play in the first half. The Wildcats wouldn't back down though as they fought back to cut the deficit to three points, trailing 38-35 at halftime.
In the second half, the Warriors started strong again extending their lead to 10 in the first four minutes. The Warriors traded baskets with JWU to maintain their lead through the second period. Johnson & Wales felt the momentum change with under five minutes to play. Sterling's offense started to hit a wall as JWU battled back to come within three points off a three pointer by Jontrell Herman (Duck Hill, Miss.).
Andrew Romero III (Northglenn, Colo.) gave JWU their first lead since the second minute of the game with a three pointer with three seconds left on the clock, going up 79-78. Herman hit both free throws with almost nothing on the clock to give the 'Cats the 81-78 lead and the Warriors missed a last ditch shot at the buzzer.
Herman led all players with 32 points and Aaron Stone (Elizabeth, Colo.) had 13 rebounds. Josiah Ray had 25 points for Sterling and brought down 10 boards.
The 'Cats will take on Tabor College on Saturday at 3:00 PM CST.