The men's basketball team defeated Emerson, 59-56 in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest at the Brown-Plofker Gymnasium on Tuesday evening.
Johnson & Wales was led by senior Lamonte Thomas (Providence, R.I.) with 22 points, four rebounds and four assists while junior David Storti (Exeter, R.I.) recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards in the victory for the Wildcats.
Bilali Kalilau-Mack had 12 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and four steals for Emerson while Nathan Firn had 14 points and six caroms in the setback for the Lions.
Emerson took an early 13-7 lead after a three pointer by Brett Smith with 13:24 left in the first half. JWU responded with a 9-2 run and tied the game at 15-15 on a jumper by junior Mike Harris (Providence, R.I.) with 9:07 remaining on the clock. The two teams then traded baskets with the score knotted 25-25 heading into the locker room at halftime.
It was more of the same in the second half with the score tied 37-37 with just over 13 minutes left in the stanza. Emerson then used a 10-0 run over the next three minutes fo the 47-37 lead, their largest of the game. The Wildcats responded, however and went on a 19-5 run, capped by a jumper from Thomas to take the 56-52 lead with 2:45 remaining. The host Lions knotted the game at 56-56 with just over two minutes left, but JWU controlled the action down the stretch with Thomas hitting three free throws in the final minute and a half en route to the 59-56 victory.
With the win JWU improves to 3-8 overall and 2-2 in the GNAC while Emerson falls to 1-9 for the year and 1-3 in league play. The Wildcats will return to action on Thursday, January 12th when they travel to Lasell for a GNAC contest, starting at 7:00 p.m.