The Wildcats began their final home weekend on Friday night with a conference matchup against Northern New Mexico College at the Wildcat Center.
The 'Cats came out firing early with an opening 11-0 run over the first 4:15 of play. The Eagles got on the board at 16:34 but the Wildcats continued to push their offense. Northern New Mexico started to get their offense going but the Wildcats matched them to maintain their lead. JWU continued to control the tempo of the contest throughout the first half. Jontrell Herman (Duck Hill, Miss.) capped the half off with a three pointer just before the buzzer as JWU took a 48-37 lead into the break.
In the second half, the Eagles started to make some inroads but the Wildcats wouldn't back down. Northern New Mexico came as close as eight points at the 13:21 mark but Johnson & Wales again pushed ahead. With 11:19 left in the game, Aaron Stone (Elizabeth, Colo.) collected an offensive rebound to notch his 516th career rebound and take over as JWU's all-time leading rebounder. The tempo of the game started to slow as both teams kept fouling and stopping the clock.
JWU maintained their output and held off any attempts at a late rally to take the 98-76 win and the conference victory.
Andrew Romero III (Northglenn, Colo.) led all players with 28 points and was 9 of 14 from the field. Herman finished with 25 points, a team high seven rebounds and had five assists. He also notched six steals. Hasan Tucker led Northern New Mexico with 21 points and had a game high eight rebounds.
The two teams will face each other again on Saturday at 3pm to close out the Wildcat's home schedule.