Lemont Furnace, PA - Johnson & Wales advanced to the first national championship game for any sport in school history with a 65-47 win over 6th seeded Villa Maria on Friday night. The 2nd seeded Wildcats turned up the pressure on defense and forced the ball inside to both wear down and force foul trouble for the short-handed Vikings.
The Wildcats, after leading by three after the first quarter, used a 14-0 run over the first five and a half minutes of the second stanza to build a 31-14 advantage. Villa Maria (21-8) was able to trim the lead to 11 at the break, led by 1st team All-American Shaquanna Owens's 6 points.
JWU (21-4) got the ball inside to Ineesha Hankerson to start the 3rd quarter, and she responded with the first five points of the period, and the Wildcats were never threatened after that point. Johnson & Wales held the Vikings to 22% shooting from the field. They forced 26 turnovers and outrebounded Villa Maria 64-48.
Johnson & Wales will take on the winner of the (1) Central Maine CC vs. (5) Penn State Bradywine game tomorrow at 3:15pm.