PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- The Johnson & Wales University women's basketball team outscored visiting Bridgewater State University, 7-0, in the final two minutes as the Wildcats posted a 55-48 win over the Bears on Wednesday evening.
The Wildcats improve to 4-2 on the season, while the Bears fall to 1-6 with their sixth straight setback.
The game featured 13 ties and nine lead changes.
Senior guard Raquel Pederzani (Coventry, R.I.) paced the hosts with 13 points and seven assists to go along with five rebounds and four steals. Pederzani scored the final five points of the game and knocked down 3 of 4 free throw attempts in the final 20 seconds to secure the win.
Sophomore center Emily Beauvais (Greenville, N.H.) came off the bench to score eight points on 4 of 5 shooting in just eight minutes of action.
BSU senior guard Rhiana Page (Brookline, Mass.) led all players with 18 points on 8 of 15 shooting. Page also pulled down eight rebounds, dished out a pair of assists and recorded four steals. Senior forward Chanelle Melton (Brockton, Mass.) added eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Bears.
Until the final minute, the largest lead by either team in the second half was a five point JWU margin (34-29) on a Kristen Habbel (Phoenixville, Pa.) three-pointer with 5:50 remaining in the third quarter. A Page jumper capped a 7-0 run to give BSU a 36-34 lead.
Another Page basket at the 4:15 mark of the fourth quarter tied the game for the 13th and final time at 48-48. Neither team would score for the next two minutes until sophomore guard Brittany Gallagher (New City, N.Y.) dropped in a reverse layup with 1:54 remaining. Pederzani hit a jumper with 1:07 to play then drained the three free throws in the final 20 seconds.
Johnson & Wales shot 39% (24-61) from the floor and just 2-for-12 (17%) from behind the arc.
After connecting on 50% (7-14) of their field goal attempts in the first quarter, The Bears struggled to shoot the ball the rest of the way. Bridgewater State went 15-for-47 (32%) from the floor, 1-for-11 (9%) from three-point range and 2-for-7 (29%) at the free throw line over the final three quarters.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday afternoon. The Wildcats host the University of Saint Joseph at one, while the Bears travel to Amherst College to take on the top-ranked Mammoths at three.