NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Wildcats held off the Cadets, 62-59, at Andrews Hall, sweeping the season series. Johnson & Wales (8-15, 6-8 GNAC) trailed only once in the second half and won the rebounding battle, 47-34.
Norwich (12-11, 8-7 GNAC) was held scoreless over the final 94 seconds but still had multiple opportunities to send the game into overtime. However, Jerrold Williams missed the final chance, a three-point attempt at the buzzer.
The game was close through the first 10 minutes of the first half. Then at the 9:25 mark, with Johnson & Wales leading 19-18, the Wildcats went on a 10-2 run for a 29-20 lead, their biggest of the game. JWU led 36-31 at halftime.
Norwich opened the second half on a 9-2 run to take the lead, 40-38, its only lead of the second half. The Wildcats moved back in front with an 8-0 run for a 46-40 lead with 13:37 to play. The Cadets went to work and reeled off an 11-6 run to trail 52-51 with 7:47 remaining. JWU then outscored the Cadets, 8-2, to move back ahead by seven points, 60-53. With 1:34 remaining, NU's Rene Cheatham made 1-of-2 free throws to make cut the Wildcats' lead to 62-59. A missed jump shot, a five-second violation, and a missed free throw kept Norwich in contention, but Williams couldn't connect on the three-point attempt as time expired.
Three players scored in double figures for the Wildcats with Japhet Kerr leading the way with 24 points. Tirone McCray recorded 14 points, while Greg Samuels logged a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Norwich also had three players in double figures with Williams leading the pack with 17 points. Cheatham collected 14 points, while Jamel Bedford added 11 points.
NU closes out the regular season on Saturday with a home game against Suffolk at 1 p.m.