Thu Jan 16th, 2020
Special to the Drum
IHS grad posts career-high in road win
Knowing that by the time she graduated Ignacio High School as co-owner of the CHSAA record for most three-pointers in a game, it came as no surprise that Avionne Gomez’s first official collegiate basket was, yep, a three-pointer.
That jumper fell through the rim back on Nov. 9, 2018, though Denver-based Johnson & Wales University fell at home that evening to Mississippi University for Women.
She’s made many more triples since then, one recent barrage coming right when the Wildcats, their numbers depleted (as of Tuesday morning, Jan. 14, the JWU website still lists nine total players) by injury, definitely needed a boost during another trying campaign.
Now a seasoned sophomore guard, Gomez burned Centenary College back on Monday, Dec. 30, for seven treys in 11 tries, en route to a career-high 32 points – or more than half of her crew’s collective count – in a 58-54 road victory, Johnson & Wales’ first win in 2019-20.
Having totaled just 11 points in the home-and-away with Centenary (alma mater of former NBA great Robert Parish) during the ’18-19 grind, Gomez finished a reported 12-of-21 from the floor in her third-ever try against CC – fellow NCAA Div. III, Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference members – while playing all 40 minutes (JWU dressed just seven that afternoon) inside the Gold Dome.
Her previous best of 24 points had come exactly one year prior (Dec. 30, 2018) during a 76-72 home loss to the University of Dallas, in which she was 5-of-9 from distance and 8-of-15 overall.
Gomez’s onslaught was at the time just the third 30-point game by an SCAC ’baller this winter, and overshadowed a fine bench effort by CC junior Darelzray Bellard, who was 5-of-14 herself from downtown in totaling a career-high 15 points (in 27 minutes) and helping the aptly-named Ladies – who led 25-22 at halftime – stay in contention.
Former IHS alumna Allisianna Baker – who’d also made her JWU debut in the aforementioned loss to Mississippi University for Women, booking a two-point bucket – joined Gomez in the starting lineup down in Shreveport, La., and scored one point in 24 minutes. She also grabbed three rebounds (Gomez collected four) and handed out two assists.
Having improved to 1-8 overall, 1-3 in conference (the Wildcats ended last season standing 2-22, 1-15) at the time, Johnson & Wales then celebrated the New Year by earning Victory No. 2 four days later inside the Wildcat Center over UofD. Gomez contributed nine points on 3-of-8 accuracy from beyond the arc and grabbed seven rebounds.
Coming in off the bench with eight ’Cats available for duty (sophomore regulars Katey Guzman and Brianna Bailey each canned a crippling six threes), Baker chipped in two points, clutched four boards, swiped a team-best five steals and distributed three assists.
Presently 2-10 overall and 2-5 in SCAC action, JWU will look to halt a two-game slide, dulling the consecutive conquests’ thunder, Friday evening, Jan. 17, in San Antonio, Tex., at Trinity University (11-2, 6-0). The Lady Wildcats will then visit Schreiner University in Kerrville, Tex., less than 24 hours later.
The only Wildcat to have started all 12 games to date, Gomez averages 9.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per, while Baker (2 starts) averages 2.8 points and 2.8 caroms.
DID YOU KNOW:
In the 2018-19 season, when Johnson & Wales won their first game of the season Jan. 25, 2019, at Dallas Christian, Gomez scored nine points (2-7 3-PTR) in 34 minutes while Baker saw no court time. The next night, JWU won for what would end up being the last time that winter, winning at, ironically, University of Dallas. Gomez booked ten points (1-2 3-PTR) in 30 minutes, while Baker scored four in 13 minutes off the bench.