Johnson & Wales University welcomed the Northern New Mexico College Eagles to the Wildcat Center in the first meeting of the two teams this season. Both teams looked sluggish coming out of the gate with slow offenses and committing multiple turnovers. Both sides were able to shake off the rough start and began to find the baskets. The Wildcat began to pull away late in the first half after trading baskets and took the 37-26 lead into the break.
Out of the locker rooms, the Eagles started to make some headway but the 'Cats wouldn't have it and quickly shut down the NNMC offense. Down the stretch, Samantha Neal and Amber Salaz became the driving force for JWU and guiding them to the 75-64 win.
Neal led all scorers with 21 points and Salaz added another 20. Salaz also brought down 10 boards while Victoria Huber and Jasmine Culbreath each had 11 rebounds. Nisa Duran scored 16 points for the Eagles and Michelle Montes had 9 rebounds.
The Wildcats (11-12, 3-4 A.I.I.) will travel to South Dakota next weekend to take on Black Hills State and South Dakota Mines in the first half of a home and home series.