Ayulo and Gonzales-Smith Lead the Wildcats to 57-48 win at UVI Thanksgiving Classic

Ayulo and Gonzales-Smith Lead the Wildcats to 57-48 win at UVI Thanksgiving Classic

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ST. THOMAS, V.I. (Nov. 22, 2018)
– Sophomore Tianna Ayulo and senior JoNae Gonzales-Smith combined for 44 points to lead the Johnson & Wales (Fla.) women's basketball team (3-3) to a 57-48 win over the University of Virgin Islands Buccaneers (3-6) in the first game of the UVI Thanksgiving Classic on Thursday morning.

Ayulo posted a game-high 24 points followed by a 20-point performance by Gonzales-Smith. For Ayulo, it was her second 20-point game of the season while for Gonzales-Smith it marked the third time the native of Richmond, California, scored 20-or-more points in a contest this year. Auylo converted 9-of-15 shots from the floor, including two from 3-point range. The native of Hollywood, Florida, also hit 2-of-4 attempts from the free-throw line. She also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the year. Gonzales-Smith was 7-of-18 from the floor with two treys and a 4-of-4 performance from the charity stripe. It marked the senior's second-consecutive game with 20-or-more points (scored 32 versus Florida National – 11/20).

The Wildcats, which led for most of the game, shot 35.1 percent (20-of-57) from the floor and drained 6-of-26 attempts from downtown (23.1 percent). JWU went 11-of-22 from the free-throw line on Thursday. UVI ended the game, shooting 35.2 percent (19-of-54) from the floor and was just 3-of-15 from long range (20.0 percent). The Buccaneers made 7-of-12 free-throw attempts versus the Wildcats. UVI held a slight edge in rebounds, 40-39, with JWU outrebounding the Buccaneers on the offensive glass, 11-9.

The Wildcats will take on Carlow (Pa.) in the team's final game of the UVI Thanksgiving Classic on Friday, November 23. Game time is slated for 8:30 a.m.