NEWTON, Mass. – Johnson & Wales University used a balanced attack with four players scoring in double figures Tuesday evening as the Wildcats defeated Lasell College, 68-47, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball game at the Lasell Athletic Center.
The visitors had a 31-29 lead at halftime, but used a 21-10 surge in the third quarter and a 16-8 margin in the final frame to pull away to the victory. JWU improves to 5-17 overall and 4-5 in the GNAC, while Lasell drops to 5-15 overall and 0-8 in conference play.
Senior Ally Mishol (Longmeadow, Mass.) led the Wildcats with 14 points and 13 rebounds, posting her second straight double-double. Freshman Kayla Walsh (Newburgh, N.Y.) added 13 points off the bench, and sophomore Marissa Cottrell (New Britain, Conn.) and freshman Dede Stevenson (Hartford, Conn.) chipped in with 10 points apiece. Cottrell finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards.
Junior Amanda Ortiz (Newton, Mass.) led all scorers with 21 points for Lasell, while graduate student Breanna Muir (Wareham, Mass.) followed her with 13 points. Graduate Student Imani Bumpus (Dedham, Mass.) contributed 13 rebounds in the setback.
Lasell came out strong and led 13-4 midway through the first quarter, led by Muir with five points and Ortiz with four. The Lasers had a double-digit lead (16-6) after a three-pointer by junior D'Asia Allen (Providence, R.I.), but the Wildcats outscored the home team 12-0 in the last four-and-a-half minutes of the quarter to pull ahead, 18-16.
JWU scored just four points in the first five minutes of the second quarter, but Lasell scored just three as the Wildcats had a 22-19 lead at the midway point. Ortiz hit a couple of baskets to give Lasell the lead back, followed by three more lead changes before the score was tied at 29-all. Nicastri made a basket in the final minute to give JWU a two-point margin (31-29) at the break.
It was a one-point Wildcat lead (36-35) midway through the third quarter, but the visitors went on a 16-4 run to end the quarter and take a 52-39 margin into the fourth. An 8-2 surge to start the final frame pushed the margin up to 18 points (60-42) and Lasell didn't challenge the rest of the way.
The Lasers will be back in GNAC action on Thursday, February 7, hosting Rivier University in a make-up game at the Athletic Center (6:00 p.m.). JWU returns to the court on Saturday, February 9, hosting Anna Maria on Senior Day at the Wildcat Center at 1:00 p.m.
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