PEREZ LEADS EXPRESS PAST NO. 6 SUNY COBLESKILL

(Harrisburg, Pa.)─ Benito Perez (Crystal City, Texas/Crystal City) scored a game high 27 points, including 5 of 8 from behind the arc, and Terry Harrison (Brooklyn N.Y./Forest Hills) added 23 points and nine rebounds as the No. 3 seed Wells College men's basketball team (15-11,14-5 NEAC) advanced to the North Eastern Athletic Conference semifinals with an 85-78 victory over No. 6 seed SUNY Cobleskill (10-16,10-9 NEAC) on Friday afternoon in Middleton, Pa. The Express will take on No. 2 seed SUNY IT (14-10, 13-5 NEAC) tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m.
 
Damon Franklin paced the Fighting Tigers with 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while teammate Brendan Doherty chipped in with 17 points.
 
The Express were impressive from the floor, shooting 60.2 percent while attempting just 43 shots to Cobleskill's 64.  Both teams were even on the boards with the Express holding a slight advantage 27-26.
 
The Express opened the game cold, putting just six points on the board over the first eight minutes as the Fighting Tigers built an 11 point lead (17-6) early.  Cobleskill continued to control the game, extending their lead to 12 points (25-13) with less than ten minutes to play in the half.
 
Down but not out, Perez singled handedly pulled the Express back in the game, scoring 12 points in span of less than five minutes, propelling Wells to an 18-2 run and a 31-27 lead with 3:52 to go in the first half. The Express would extend their lead to as many eight points before entering the break up 40-35.
 
The Express controlled the majority of the second half, leading by as many as 13 points with less than ten minutes to play. However, the Fighting Tigers were able to claw their way back, tying the game at 76-76 on a Franklin 3-pointer with 1:24 to play.
 
Despite the tie, the Express never relinquished the lead. Harrison finished a lay-up just seconds later and Wells would hit seven of eight free-throws down the stretch, sealing the quarterfinal round match-up victory.
 
Tomorrow's semifinal round game against the two-time defending NEAC Champion SUNY IT will mark the third straight year the two squads have met in the NEAC tournament. The Wildcats and Wells split their regular season meeting with both teams winning on their home court. Wells took the most recent match-up, 86-84, back on February 5. 

EXPRESS ROUT SAXONS 80-53
January 20, 2011 EXPRESS ROUT SAXONS 80-53