SANTA CRUZ, CA - An incredible performance by freshman Andray Thomas Jr. wasn't enough for the Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team Saturday night against Pacific (Oregon).
Thomas went off for 41 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks, but his team's comeback effort fell short in a 99-96 loss in the UC Santa Cruz Tipoff Classic.
A layup by Thomas pulled JWU Denver with one possession late, down 97-94 with 19 seconds to go, but the Wildcats couldn't grab one of two free throw misses by the Boxers on the ensuing possession.
Thomas, who earned a spot on the Tipoff Classic All-Tournament team, went 14-for-24 from the field, 4-of-8 from the 3-point line, and played all 40 minutes.
After a rough shooting day in Friday's season opener, JWU shot much better Saturday (46.6 percent), but again the Wildcats struggled from the free-throw line, making 23 of 39 at the stripe while also committing 35 turnovers.
JWU wraps up its three-games-in-three-days road trip with Sunday's matchup at UC Santa Cruz (2 p.m.).