DECATUR, Ga.—A strong fourth quarter pushed visiting Johnson & Wales (N.C.) to a 63-47 win over Agnes Scott in non-conference basketball action on Sunday. The Wildcats were clinging to a four-point advantage at the start of the final 10 minutes of play, but seemingly could not miss in a 24-point period to close out the Scotties.
Agnes Scott sees its ledger dip to 1-4, while the red-hot Wildcats run their record up to 6-1 on the year.
A scrappy Scottie squad pieced together a solid opening quarter, leading after a period for the first time since their second game of the season. Agnes trailed 11-10 with just a few seconds to go when rookie Erica Frank (Conyers, Ga.) hit an eight-foot jumper to give the Scotties a one-point lead after one.
The two teams traded leads back and forth in the second period, but the Wildcats first gained some control over the game with a 5-0 run that gave them a 25-21 advantage with just over a minute to play in the half. Natasha Banks (Douglasville, Ga.) was able to hit a tough runner to close it to a two-point gap at halftime. Garis Grant (Charleston, S.C.) led the Scotties with six points in the half despite playing only seven minutes due to foul trouble.
With the game tied at 27 in the third, Johnson & Wales finally gained control over the Scotties with a 6-0 run spurred on by a couple turnovers by the home side. Agnes Scott was able to get back within two points on a steal and breakaway by Banks, but a missed communication on the defensive side led to a quick bucket for JWU's Justice Wallace (Concord, N.C.) for a 39-35 lead entering the fourth.
The Wildcats tried to pull away at the start of the fourth, but Banks scored five points including a pair of technical free throws to keep Agnes within three.
However, it was all JWU from there as the Scotties struggled to find any consistency on the offensive end. The Wildcats converted half of their shots from the field in the final period, while also tacking on 10 points from the charity stripe.
The Scotties turned the ball over a season-high 35 times, including 11 times in crunch time, helping the Wildcats to create separation on the scoreboard.
Banks and Grant combined for the team lead with 11 points each. Grant added another double-double to her season total with 11 rebounds. Agnes Scott outrebounded their opponents for the fourth time this year.
Johnson & Wales had three players in double-figures with Chase Muhammad (Charlotte, N.C.) and Jaquana Pauling (Gastonia, N.C.) leading the way with 14 apiece. Bianca Covington (Bennettsville, S.C.) also had a solid game with 12 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
The Scotties are off until heading to Memphis for the Rhodes tournament next weekend.