SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Senior guard Brian Bannister (Boston, MA) scored 22 points, including all 10 of his free throws in the final 2:51, to lead fifth-seeded Johnson & Wales University to a 57-52 victory over fourth-seeded Western New England College in a quarterfinal round game of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Tournament.
Junior forward Conor Moran (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) had a double double with 13 points and 11 rebounds while freshman center Jeff Barbosa (Seekonk, MA) also had a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Johnson & Wales (15-10) led 24-23 at halftime before Western New England College came back to take a 39-37 lead following two free throws by junior guard Jon Godbout (Bristol, CT) with 8:55 remaining in the game. Godbout made two more free throws to tie the contest at 43-43 with 3:53 left.
Barbosa put the Wildcats ahead for good with a three-point play for a 46-43 lead at the 3:31 mark.
Sophomore forward Jim Bayne (Bristol, CT) led the Golden Bears (17-9) with 14 points and eight rebounds while Godbout finished with 12 points. Sophomore center Malik Champlain (Norwich, CT) contributed 10 points and nine rebounds.
During the regular season, JWU defeated WNEC by the score of 67-60 on January 15 in Providence, Rhode Island while the Golden Bears beat the Wildcats, 63-60, last Thursday in Springfield.