Eagles hand 'Cats first home loss

Eagles hand 'Cats first home loss

Johnson & Wales wrapped up the season on Saturday afternoon, hosting Northern New Mexico College.

The visiting Eagles jumped out to an early 12-6 lead through the first four and a half minutes of play as Johnson & Wales struggled to get going. NNMC extended their run to a 25-8 advantage midway through the first half before Johnson & Wales started to feel some momentum. Each small run that the Wildcats would make would be counted by one on the other end of the court by the Eagles. The 'Cats used a late first half push to cut the lead down to 47-40 at the break.

Johnson & Wales came out of the gate strong in the second half as they cut the deficit down to two points at 16:50. A layup by Bryson Sharpley (Westminster, Colo.) tied the game at 49-49 and the ensuing free throw from being fouled on the play gave JWU the 50-49 lead. The game turned into a back and forth race as neither side wanted the other to build much of an advantage late. JWU pushed their lead up to 66-60 with 10:06 on the clock. The Wildcats maintained their nearly double-digit lead for most of the next few minutes before NNMC found another gear and rallied to tie the contest 78-78 with 1:47 to play. The Eagles went up 82-80 with 49 seconds left and never looked back as they held off the late chances by JWU to take the 83-80 win.

Andrew Romero III (Northglenn, Colo.) had a career high 41 points for Johnson & Wales and led the team with nine rebounds. Sharpley added 13 points for Johnson & Wales and notched two steals. Walid Aly led the Eagles with 25 points and Lucas Chavez finished with seven rebounds.