Thomas University's men's basketball team (10-7, 3-4) won its second straight Sun Conference game, beating host Johnson & Wales University Wildcats (9-8, 1-5) 81-78 Saturday evening in North Miami, Fla.
TU used the hot hand of senior forward Justyn Watkins to edge the Wildcats and jump into a two way tie for fifth in the TSC standings. Watkins knocked down a game-high 36 points on 13-of-25 shooting from the field and 1-of-3 from three-point range while converting 9-of-12 from the free throw line.
The Night Hawks led by one at the half, 39-38, after overcoming a ten point deficit with 9:41 to play in the first.
In the second half, the teams exchanged points until TU was able to open a seven-point lead with 4:01 to play. A three-pointer by JWU with 11 seconds to play made it a one-point game, but two free throws by junior guard Max Grace with five seconds to play and a forced turnover up the game for Thomas.
Seeking their third straight TSC victory, the Night Hawks will hit the road on Wednesdaywhen they travel to Lake Wales, Fla., to face Warner University at 7 p.m.