DENVER - Five Wildcats scored in double figures to lead the Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team to its first victory of the season, a 96-72 win over visiting Oglala Lakota College on Saturday at the Wildcat Center.
Freshman Andray Thomas Jr. led all scorers with 23 points in 31 minutes off the bench, adding 11 rebounds, seven steals and four assists for his third double-double of the season.
Freshman Kaleb Atherley and Jaerron Hunter also scored 18 points each while classmate Ricky Poole finished with 16 and sophomore Charles Young with 10. Atherley added 10 boards for his first double-double as a Wildcat.
The Wildcats forced 29 Braveheart turnovers, turning those extra possessions into 39 points. JWU Denver totaled 21 steals, including three each by Hunter and sophomores Gavin Spinks and Jalen Scandrett.
"That's what we want to do as a team every game," Spinks said. "Force turnovers and get easy buckets, so that was huge for us today."
Oglala Lakota started fast, jumping out to a seven-point lead (18-11) with 13:40 to go in the first half before the Wildcats clawed back to grab a 41-37 lead at the break following a last-second tip-in by Atherley.
The Wildcats rode that momentum into the second half when they out-scored the Bravehearts 55-35 over the final 20 minutes.
JWU returns to the Wildcat Center on Sunday, Dec. 15 to host Southwestern in their SCAC conference opener at noon.