The Wildcats opened Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) play on Friday afternoon in McPherson, Kansas when they took on #10 College of the Ozarks in neutral court action.
The 'Cats started strong, keeping the contest a 5-5 tie midway through the first quarter but the Bobcats started to build some separation as the minutes ticked. College of the Ozarks hit some big three point buckets in the opening quarter to pull away from Johnson & Wales early. After 10 minutes of play, C of O held the 22-14 advantage.
In the second quarter, the Wildcat's offense struggled as the Bobcats outpaced them 29-8 in the second stanza to lead 51-22 at the break. In the second half, Johnson & Wales made small gains but the 10th ranked Bobcats maintained their tempo and put the game away. With the momentum, College of the Ozarks pushed ahead for the 92-48 conference victory.
Vanessa Maestas (Thornton, Colo.) led JWU with 12 points and had three assists. Andromeda Sales (Blackhawk, Colo.) added 11 points for Johnson & Wales. McCorra Ford (Gillette, Wyo.) brought down five rebounds for the 'Cats. Cassidy Johnson led College of the Ozarks with 15 points and Kelsie Cleeton had a game high 11 rebounds.
Johnson & Wales will face weekend host Central Christian College on Saturday at 1pm MT in the final game of their A.I.I. Classic.