The Wildcats fell on Friday night in an A.I.I. matchup at Northern New Mexico College.
After a back and forth start to the contest, the Eagles held a 13-7 lead after nearly six inutes of play. Johnson & Wales rallied to tie the game at 15-15 with 11:18 to play in the first. The Eagles put together another scoring run to go up 29-19 just under the six minute mark. The 'Cats again fought back to cut into the lead but NNMC pushed their lead back up to 41-35 at the break.
The Wildcats regrouped during halftime to and were able to make up the ground and go up 45-42 with 14:37 to play. The two teams traded buckets as the clock continued to wind down. The Eagles built up a small lead but Johnson & Wales rallied to tie the game and send it into overtime. In the overtime period, the back and forth continued with neither side giving up much of an advantage.
As the final seconds ticked away, the Wildcats looked poised to force a second overtime period but a buzzer beater from Bryce Simmons gave NNMC the 79-77 victory.
Andrew Romero III (Northglenn, Colo.) led Johnson & Wales with 22 points and Jontrell Herman (Duck Hill, Miss.) added 18. Aaron Stone (Elizabeth, Colo.) had a game high 15 rebounds for Johnson & Wales.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday to wrap up the regular season.