PROVIDENCE, RI – It was only fitting that on Senior Day the three seniors on the Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team pulled the Wildcats through to victory. With a limited bench, the Wildcats ground out a 74-64 victory over Rivier on Saturday.
Rivier: 1-16, 1-12 GNAC
Johnson & Wales: 13-9, 9-4 GNAC
Haylee Macken hit a three-pointer with 1:35 left in the first quarter to pull the Raiders within 17-16, but the Wildcats finished the opening stanza on a 5-0 run. A Britney Gallagher layup midway through the second quarter pushed the JWU lead to 10 as the hosts took a 43-34 lead into the half.
Rivier outscored the Wildcats 16-13 in the third quarter and got the JWU lead down to six entering the fourth quarter. The Wildcats started the final period on a 5-0 run with Kristen Habbel's layup pushing the margin to 61-50.
Leading the Wildcats was Raquel Pederzani as she topped 20 points for the second game in a row with 24 points to go along with eight rebounds. JWU had four players in double figures as Gallagher added 15 followed by 13 from senior Sarah Duryea and 10 from sophomore Emily Beauvais. Habbel grabbed nine rebounds and dished out seven assists.
The Raiders' Kaylee Kacavas scored a game-high 23 points as well as eight rebounds. During the first half, she crossed the 1,000-point barrier. Alexis Ivory added 12 and Lizzy Meehan chipped in 11.
Johnson & Wales is on the road Tuesday when it travels to Anna Maria for a 6 p.m. contest.