Johnson & Wales capped off their home schedule on Saturday afternoon when they hosted the South Dakota School of Mines Hardrockers in the final game of the women's portion of the 2012 Johnson & Wales Classic. The two sides had met last weekend with the Hardrockers taking the win in South Dakota.
JWU opened the contest with a strong offense and even stronger defense holding SDSMT within a possession or two before the Hardrockers took control of the contest and pushed ahead. The 'Cats defense got them in trouble early with Victoria Huber and Amber Salaz picking up early fouls. The Hardrockers would lead by as much as 15 before taking the 40-30 lead into the break.
Out of the intermission, the Hardrockers maintained their momentum throughout the second period keeping the game out of reach of the 'Cats. The Wildcats finished the contest going .333 from the floor and 73% from the free throw line in the 73-96 loss.
Caitlin Durkin had 25 points for the Wildcats and Kourtney Shirley came up with 7 rebounds. Samantha Neal had three big blocks for Johnson & Wales. Justine Blade was an offensive powerhouse for the Hardrockers finishing the night with 35 points and Janelle Strampe had 14 boards.
Johnson & Wales honored their two graduating seniors, Amber Salaz and Victoria Huber, prior to the start of the game. The Wildcats will have one week off before traveling to Espanola, New Mexico to take on the Eagles of Northern New Mexico College on Friday, February 17.