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Johnson & Wales upsets PSU Men’s Basketball

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team notched a 70-66 upset victory over Plymouth State University Thursday evening in a non-conference contest at the Harborside RAC.

Johnson & Wales improves to 3-6 while Plymouth State falls to 8-2. The Wildcats placed four players in double-figures, including senior Brian Bannister (Boston, Mass.) who led the team with 16 points and eight rebounds. Fellow senior Brian Fernandes (Fall River, Mass.) added 13 points and two assists.

Junior Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.) led the way for Plymouth State with a game-best 19 points with five rebounds while senior Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) added 16 points in the setback. Sophomore Phil Bourassa (Old Orchard Beach, Maine) chipped in with 12 points.

After shooting 60 percent and enjoying a 36-20 rebounding advantage Tuesday night in a win over Middlebury, Plymouth State connected at just a 37.7 clip Thursday at JWU and got outrebounded 37-34.

The two teams traded baskets early in the game before JWU rallied to take a 14-9 lead midway through the first half. PSU responded with a 7-0 run late in the half en route to a 26-25 lead at halftime.

It was more of the same in the early stages of the second half before the Wildcats used a 19-5 run to take a commanding 56-40 lead with 4:55 left in the game. The Panthers responded again, and cut the margin to just three points, 65-62, with 20 seconds left in the game. The Wildcats sealed the win down the stretch, hitting five-of-six from the line in the final 17 seconds.

The Wildcats return to action this Saturday when they travel to Emmanuel for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest (1:00 p.m.) PSU returns home to host UMass Dartmouth in a Little East Conference game Saturday at Foley Gymnasium (3:00 p.m.)

(Courtesy of Johnson & Wales Sports Information)

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