Middleton, Pa.– The Wells men's basketball team fell to No. 1 seed SUNY IT Wildcats, 99-71, in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men's basketball championship game on Sunday afternoon at Penn. St. Harrisburg in Middleton, Pa. It was the second straight year the Express have fell to the Wildcats in the conference final. No. 2 seed Wells finishes the season at 21-7, while the Wildcats improve to 24-4 and clinch the NEAC automatic bid to the NCAA tournament set to begin later in the week.
Senior Darrell Bullock led the Express, scoring his 1,000 point, finishing with a team high 23 points, while Juan Paulino closed out his career with his 17th straight double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the losing effort.
David Golembiowski led the Wildcats with a game high 33 points, while Diloo Brown added a double-double, finishing with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Floyd. F. Thorne also added 21 points for the Wildcats.
The Express shot just 25.6 percent from the field in the first half and the Wildcats took advantage, grabbing a 20-4 lead six minutes into the game. The Wildcats used 63 percent shooting from the field, hitting on 6 of 14 from behind the arc, to build a 58-30 lead heading into the break.
The deficit would prove to be too steep to overcome for the Express. The Wildcats continued to roll in the second half, opening up with an 8-1 run, extending their lead to 36, as they led by over 30 for the majority of the half. The Express improved from field shooting 42.1 percent but it was too little too late.
Despite the loss, the 21 win season for the Express will go down as one of the most successful in Wells history, including the only team to reach 20 wins in a season in any sport. It is also the only team in school history to reach back-to-back NEAC conference championships, while doing this in just their second year as a program.