SANTA CRUZ, CA - The Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team opened the 2019-20 season with a 72-42 loss to Pacific Lutheran on Friday night in the UC Santa Cruz Tipoff Classic at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
Freshman Andray Thomas Jr. nearly had a double-double in his first collegiate game, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds to go with three steals. Classmate Brandon Romero led JWU Denver in scoring with 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Junior Jalen Scandrett earned his first career start and finished with five points and three steals while freshman Ricky Pool added five points and two boards.
Scandrett opened the scoring with an early 3-pointer, but JWU's lead didn't last long. The Wildcats ended up shooting 21.4 percent in the first half and trailed 33-17 at the break. For the game, JWU shot 25.9 percent and made just 8-of-22 free throws (36.4 precent).
Pacific Lutheran out-rebounded JWU 54-35 and got a balanced scoring effort, led by Leighton Kingma with 13 points.
The Wildcats continue the tournament with their second of three games i nthree days Saturday against Pacific (Ore).