Johnson & Wales Magic Carpet Ride Ends in the Sweet 16
Johnson & Wales news release…
MEDFORD, Mass. – A historic ride for the Johnson & Wales University men’s basketball team that saw it accomplish feats no other JWU program has done came to an end Friday. The 12th-ranked Wildcats dropped a 101-85 decision to No. 20 Tufts in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16.
Johnson & Wales: 28-3
JWU Statistical Leaders:
Tom Garrick: 30 Points, 4 Rebounds
Quarry Greenaway: 19 Point, 11 Rebounds
Robert Lewis: 10 Points, 10 Rebounds
The Wildcats end the year with a school record 28 victories, which is also tied for the most ever by a GNAC men’s squad. Johnson & Wales went on a 21-game winning streak during the season. JWU broke into the Top 25 for the first time in school history and rose to as high as number 12.
Leading all scorers in his final collegiate game was guard Tom Garrick (Seekonk, Mass.) as he poured in 30 points. Recorded his 15th double-double of the year was senior Quarry Greenaway (Westchester, NY) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Also notching a double-double was classmate Robert Lewis as he had 10 points and 10 rebounds
Coming out of the locker down four points, the Wildcats kept the Jumbos lead in range for the first six minutes of the second stanza. Tufts went on a 5-0 run to open up a nine point lead, 63-54, then expanded the margin to as many as 15, 79-64, on a Ryan Spadaford free throw.
Johnson & Wales found itself down as many as 14 in the first half. An Evertt Dayton jumper at the 7:49 mark staked the hosts to a 34-20 lead. From there the Wildcat dug in and began their comeback. Johnson & Wales went on a 17-4 run to cut the lead to 38-37 on a Lewis lay-up. A Jarell Lawson (Providence, RI) dunk gave JWU the lead 41-40 with 1:36 left in the half. The Wildcats went into the locker room down 47-43.
The Jumbos had a hot hand all night as they shot 51.6 percent (33-of-64) for the night. They were also accurate from the free throw line, going 29-of-36. In the first half Tufts shot 62.1 percent. Comparatively, the Wildcats were 38-of-89 from the field (43.8 percent) and 3-of-13 at the charity stripe.
Head coach Jamie Benton has a tall order as he has to replace seven seniors on this year’s team. JWU does bring back starters Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, Conn.) and Mike Kiser (Pike Road, Ala) as well as top reserve Lawson.
"Tufts played tremendous tonight. We let them get off to a hot start but we were able to make a run of our own to get back into it. I thought Palleschi was tough down low and he made a lot of plays. They shot the ball really well and made the big plays when they needed to.
"I know our guys are hurting tonight but I’m proud of the way they played tonight and throughout the whole season. As tough as it was in the locker room after the game, I told everybody that we are going to celebrate these guys and everything they’ve accomplished. These guys gave us everything they had every practice and every game and they’ve set the bar for every JWU program moving forward."
-JWU Head Coach Jamie Benton