PLATTSBURGH, NY – A Jarrell Lawson lay-up with 12 seconds left broke a 73-73 tie as the Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team defeated Trinity College, 75-73, on Friday during the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The 12th-ranked Wildcats advance to the second round where they will face the winner of the SUNY-Plattsburgh-Fitchburg State game.
Johnson & Wales: 27-2
JWU Statistical Leaders:
Quarry Greenaway: 19 Points, 9 Rebounds
Tom Garrick: 16 Points, 3 Rebounds
Jarrell Lawson: 13 Points, 5 Rebounds
For the second tournament in a row, Johnson & Wales won its opening round game. JWU is 2-2 in three NCAA Tournament appearances. During the 2011 season, they won the first NCAA Tournament game by any JWU program. Four Wildcats scored in double figures, led by guard Quarry Greenaway's (Westchester, NY) game-high 19 points.
Greenaway hit a pair of free throws to put the Wildcats up 68-59 with 5:41 to play. JWU would only score one point over the next four minutes as the Bantam responded with a 9-1 run. After Greenaway fouled out, senior Tom Garrick (Seekonk, Mass.) scored four points in the final 1:31 to hold the Wildcats lead. Lawson hit the game winner after Andrew Hurd tied game with a three pointer.
Johnson & Wales' pressure defense caused problems for the Bantam in the early part of the first half and JWU took advantage. The Wildcats jumped out to a 26-11 lead on a Lawson (Providence, RI) jumper at the 11:09 mark. From there, Trinity fought back and closed the half on a 25-14 run to pull within 40-36.
Both teams made a number of trips to the free throw line as two of the top defensive teams in the region were whistled for 45 personal fouls. The Wildcats were 22-of-27 from the line, compared to 23-of-28 by Trinity. Neither team shot particularly well from the field with JWU holding a slight 40.7%-39.3% margin.
Greenaway nearly missed a double-double as he pulled in nine rebounds. The Wildcats outrebounded Trinity 39-34. Right behind Greenaway in the scoring column was Garrick as he tossed in 16. Lawson came off the bench to score 13 points and grab five rebounds. Senior Robert Lewis (Providence, RI) scored 14 points and had three steals.
"Our guys really stepped up in the last few minutes without Quarry and that's what the NCAA Tournament is all about. When Quarry fouled out we went to Tommy and said 'Why not you?' and the jump shot he made down the stretch was huge. He stepped and they all stepped up when we needed them."
Saturday's game will be the first meeting between Fitchburg.