SANTA CRUZ, CA - The Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team couldn't hold on to an eight-point halftime lead Sunday at UC Santa Cruz, falling 63-52 to the host Banana Slugs at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
The Wildcats shot 50.0 percent (14-28) in the first frame and built a 33-25 lead at the break. JWU maintained its lead for the first 10 minutes of the second half before a 9-0 run by the Banana Slugs swung momentum in favor of the hosts, allowing UCSC to pull away down the stretch.
Freshman Andray Thomas Jr. led the JWU offense with 17 points to go with five rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Charles Young finished with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals while freshman Kaleb Atherley had 10 points and five boards.
The Wildcats were held off the free throw line entirely, committed 17 turnovers and were out-scored 52-28 in the paint.
JWU Denver will get some time off now before hosting Cal Luthern in its home opener Friday, Nov. 22 at the Wildcat Center.