Aurora, N.Y.– The Wells College men's basketball team (17-6) held off a late rally by the pesky Penn. St. Abington Nittany Lions (5-17) and Juan Paulino (Bronx, N.Y./Finger Lakes C.C.) finished with a game high 21 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes as the Express held on for a 72-68 victory on Sunday afternoon in Aurora, N.Y. William Alton (Hopewell Valley, N.J./Hopewell Valley) and Corey Curtis (Philadelphia, Pa./BOK Tech) led four Nittany Lions in double figures with 18 points and 17 respectively in the loss.
Wells controlled the majority of the first half taking a 40-24 lead into the break on 48.4% shooting from the floor. The second half was a completely different story as the Nittany Lions capitalized on 11 of 30 shooting by the Express to trim the lead to five at 67-62 with 2:26 remaining. A lay-up by Alton would bring Abington to within three, 67-64, with 11 seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbounds play the Nittany Lions would foul Rionn Pradia (Houston, Texas/Appomattox), sending him to the line for two free throws. Pradia knocked down one of two, all but ending the game. Francis Hennessey (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) tossed up a desperation three in hopes of a four point play as time expired, but it fell harmlessly short and the Express avoided the foul to hold on for the win.
It was the fourth straight win for the Express and 11th straight at home on a day in which Wells recognized the first five seniors to graduate from the men's basketball program in its, short, two year history.
Darrell Bullock (Chicago/Olive Harvey C.C.) was the only other player in double figures for the Express with 14 points, taking his career total to 939 points with two regular season games and the conference tournament left to reach the 1,000 point plateau.
Joshua Howard (Bensalem, Pa./Bensalem) and Hennessey joined Alton and Curtis as the only other players in double figures for the Nittany Lions with 12 points each.
Wells takes to the court next on Wednesday, February 17, as they travel to Cazenovia College to take on the Wildcats at 7:00 p.m. in Cazenovia, N.Y.