PROVIDENCE, RI– The two teams predicted to win their respective divisions in the GNAC squared off Tuesday night. Poor shooting by Johnson & Wales University in the second half allowed Saint Joseph's College to come away with a 62-44 victory.
Saint Joseph's: 10-2, 4-0 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 6-6, 1-2 GNAC
Ashley Thompson (JWU): 16 points, 8 rebounds
Raquel Pederzani (JWU): 10 points, 5 assists
Kelsi McNamara (SJM): 18 points, 9 assists
Johnson & Wales took a 30-26 lead into the locker room and Ashley Thompson (Bellingham, Mass.) knocked down a jumper at the 5:24 mark of the third period to put JWU up 34-32. Unfortunately, the Wildcats wouldn't make another basket until Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, RI) hit a three pointer with 11 seconds left in the frame.
During that time, the Monks built a 43-34 lead as part of a 20-3 run. Kelsi McNamara sank two free throws at the 6:20 mark to give the visitors a 52-37 advantage.
Cold shooting in the second half did in the Wildcats as the hit only 21.4 percent in the final 20 minutes for an overall rate of 29.1 percent (16-of-55). Conversely, the Monks shot 43.8 percent (21-of-48) thanks to a 55 percent rate in the second half.
Leading the Wildcats offense was Thompson as she posted a team-high 16 points and grabbed eight boards. Pederzani was next at 10 markers while dishing out five assists.
McNamara led all players with 18 points and just missed a double-double with nine assists. Emily Benway added 14 points and seven rebounds while Hannah Marks came off the bench for eight points and seven rebounds.
Saint Joseph's returns to action Thursday with a GNAC contest at Mount Ida College (7:00 p.m.). The Wildcats continue their four-game home stand on Saturday when they take on Albertus Magnus at 1 p.m.
COURTESY OF JWU SPORTS INFORMATION
Saint Joseph's College is Maine's only Catholic liberal arts college, providing a supportive, personalized and career-focused education for more than 100 years. From its 474-acre campus on the shores of Sebago Lake, the College offers more than 40 undergraduate programs to a population of approximately 1,000 students. Saint Joseph's College Online provides certificates, undergraduate and advanced degrees for working adults through an online learning program. For more, visit www.sjcme.edu.