JWU earns first Top 25 ranking in school history

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PROVIDENCE, RI – There have been a number of accomplishments this season for the Johnson & Wales University men’s basketball team. The Wildcats can add their first Top 25 ranking to that list. Johnson & Wales cracked the Top 25 this week with the No. 23 spot in the D3hoops.com charts.

“It’s a great accomplishment for our program, but we’re trying to approach it as just another step in our journey,” JWU head coach Jamie Benton said. “Our ultimate goal is to win the GNAC and advance to the NCAA Tournament so this is part of that process. Not only does this speak volumes to the hard work our guys have put in this season but it is also a testament to the former players that helped build the foundation of this program.”

The ranking has come on the strength of Johnson & Wales’ school-record 16-game winning streak. The Wildcats dropped their season opener against Linfield, 80-74, on November 13 and haven’t lost since.

During the winning streak, JWU is beating teams by an average of 29.2 points per game with six victories by 40 or more points. Johnson & Wales leads the NCAA in scoring margin at 27.1 ppg. and have the No. 11 scoring offense at 90.9 ppg.

In addition to the Top 25 ranking, the Wildcats also received recognition from the GNAC as senior Tom Garrick (Seekonk, Mass.) was named GNAC Player of the Week. He averaged 28.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.0 steals during a pair of victories. Against Emmanuel, he tied season highs with 33 points and 12 rebounds.

It’s his second weekly award of the season and fourth of his career. He’s second in the GNAC at 22.4 ppg. and 48 three pointers. Garrick is currently ranked 16th in NCAA Division III with 1,464 career points. He also ranks 11th with 541 career field goals made.

The Wildcats are back on the floor Thursday when they travel to Emmanuel for a 5:30 p.m. tip.

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