The Wildcats headed to the University of Denver on Thursday for an evening matchup against the Pioneers.
The opening minutes of the contest saw the two sides trade baskets with the 'Cats holding the 5-4 advantage after four minutes. The Pioneers would make small runs but Johnson & Wales would counter with one of their own and pull their way back in. DU pushed their lead up to seven point with just under eight minutes to play in the half. The 'Cats started to hit some of their three point attempts to catch back up with DU. The Pioneers couldn't get a shot to fall in the final two minutes as Johnson & Wales continued to hit their shots and trailed 29-31 at the break.
The second half started with the 'Cats going cold offensively. Denver went on a 21-0 run in the opening five minutes to pull away from Johnson & Wales. Andrew Romero III (Northglenn, Colo.) got the first bucket of the half for JWU at the 13:58 mark but at that point the 'Cats trailed 56-32. After the stagnant start to the second half the 'Cats started to regain some of their momentum. Over the final 14 minutes of play, the Pioneers only outscored JWU by eight points but their hot start to the period allowed the University of Denver to take the 91-59 win.
Romero led all players with 23 points and had a team high five assists and five rebounds. Bailey Stephens (Flagstaff, Colo.) had 13 points for JWU and collected five steals for the Wildcats. Joe Rosga had 19 points for DU and Jake Krafka brought down nine rebounds. Johnson & Wales recorded 14 steals in the game while DU only managed nine. The Pioneers also had nine more turnovers then the 'Cats.
The Wildcats hit the road for three contests in South Dakota this weekend. They'll take on South Dakota School of Mines on Friday night followed by Black Hills State on Saturday afternoon. JWU will close out their five games in five days on Sunday at Presentation College.