Freshman Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, R.I.) scored a game-high 22 points and added four steals to lead the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team to a 69-56 victory over intra-state rival Rhode Island College in a non-conference contest at the Wildcat Center on Thursday evening.
Freshman Ashley Thompson (Bellingham, Mass.) added 11 points and three rebounds while sophomore Bobbie Whitehead (Brooklyn, N.Y.) rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Wildcats, tallying 10 points with four boards in the victory.
Junior Devin Hill (Danielson, Conn.) paced Rhode Island College with 17 points and five rebounds while junior Michelle Lagrotteria (Niantic, Conn.) added 15 points and a game-high seven rebounds in the setback for the Anchorwomen.
Johnson & Wales had control of the game early and led 20-11 after a three pointer by freshman Kristen Habbel (Phoenixville, Pa.) with 6:36 left in the first half. Rhode Island College then used a 9-2 run, capped by a pair of free throws from Hill with 1:47 remaining in the stanza. A three-pointer by Pederzani with time running out in the half gave JWU the 27-24 lead heading into the locker room at halftime. Both teams struggled from the field with RIC shooting just 32.0% (8-for-25) while JWU hit on 35.7% (10-for-28) for the half.
The early stages of the second half saw a back and forth battle with Johnson & Wales holding a 51-49 advantage with just over six minutes left in the contest. The Wildcats used a 13-4 run over the next four minutes and took their first double-digit lead of the game when a layup by Whitehead gave the team the 64-53 advantage. JWU then cruised to the 69-56 victory. The Wildcats connected on 60.9% (14-for-23) of their shots in the second half and forced RIC into 28 turnovers for the game.
With the victory Johnson & Wales moves to 3-2 on the season while Rhode Island College drops to 1-6 for the year. The Wildcats will be back in action on Saturday, December 6th when they travel to Brandeis for a non-conference contest starting at 1:00 p.m.
For more information, contact Dan Booth (401) 598-1632