STANDISH, Maine – Johnson & Wales University (3-8, 3-2 GNAC) tipped Saint Joseph’s College (7-6, 4-2 GNAC), 74-71, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men’s basketball action at the Harold Alfond Center on Tuesday night.
In a wild contest featuring 14 lead changes and 13 tie scores, Johnson & Wales – the defending GNAC Champions – managed to pull away late and withstood a Saint Joseph’s comeback bid with the help of a 4-4 free-throw shooting performance from senior guard Anthony Jernigan (East Hartford, Conn.) in the closing 34 seconds.
The Monks owned a 39-36 advantage at the break and clung to a slim 56-54 lead after junior forward Aaron Hall (Haverhill, Mass.) converted a traditional three-point play with 9:35 on the second-half clock, but the Wildcats shot ahead with an 8-0 run which was capped by a Jarell Lawson (Providence, R.I.) three-pointer to make it a 62-56 game four minutes later.
In the final 30 seconds, St. Joe’s fought back with three-pointers from sophomores Ben Malloy (Standish, Maine) and Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) to make it a one-point contest, but Jernigan converted a pair of freebies on the following JWU possession and a deep attempt by Malloy as time expired was off the mark.
Hall led the Monks with 11 points and pulled down three rebounds.
Senior John Crawley (Fitchburg, Mass.) came off the bench to score 10 points in 15 minutes.
Mileikis tallied nine points, eight rebounds, three steals, and two assists.
Malloy chipped in with nine points off a 3-6 three-point shooting effort.
Senior Andrew Ruffen (Salem, N.H.) totaled eight points, five rebounds, and two steals off the bench.
Junior Quinn Richardson-Newton (Saco, Maine) added seven points with a game-high nine rebounds.
Sophomore Marc Corey (Londonderry, N.H.) contributed seven points, seven assists, and three caroms.
Jernigan led all players with 26 points with the help of a 10-11 free-throw shooting performance and added seven assists, five steals, and four boards.
Sophomore Matt Madoian (North Kingstown, R.I.) added 18 points and two rebounds.
Lawson tallied 15 points and six caroms.
Junior Micahel Kiser (Pike Road, Ala.) pulled down a team-high eight rebounds with four points and three steals.