AURORA, N.Y. – Junior E.J. Taylor (Tampa Bay, Fla.) posted 17 points for the Express en route to a 53-49 victory over the Nittany Lions of Penn St.-Harrisburg Saturday afternoon at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the victory, the Express move to 6-8 overall on the year and to 2-2 within North Eastern Athletic Conference play. The Nittany Lions collect only their first conference loss (6-9, 3-1 NEAC) on the year.
Wells College improves to 6-5 overall against Penn St.-Harrisburg in the all-time series lead. With this afternoon's victory, the Express have .500 or worse records against only two other opponents (min. four games played) – Hartwick College (0-5) and SUNYIT (5-6).
The Express jumped out to an eight point lead with 5:55 remaining in the first half, leading their opponent by a 20-12 margin following a Jordan Bishop (Arlington, Texas) three point basket. Wells was only able to score two points for the remainder of the half, however, as the Nittany Lions were able to outscore the Express by a 9-to-2 margin throughout the remainder of the half to end up trailing by only one point entering the half.
Penn St.-Harrisburg utilized two three pointers by Alberto De Los Santos within the half's first six-plus minutes to not only take the lead, but a nine point advantage with 14:15 remaining in the half. However, Taylor answered with two three point baskets later in the half en route to tying the game at 42 aside with 5:55 remaining in regulation. Each team traded layups four separate times in the waning minutes and battled to a 47-47 tie with 1:28 remaining in regulation.
The Express went ahead for good with 1:07 remaining as J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) converted a layup for a two point lead. A Walton foul led to a single successful foul shot by Kevin Icker to cut the deficit to one. However, a De Los Santos shooting foul sent junior Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) to the line where he buried both foul shot attempts. From there, junior Jonathan Bonds (Chicago, Ill.) buried one-of-two of his attempts with just one second left to virtually end the game.
With 17 points, Taylor has now recorded four straight games with double-digit point totals. On the year, Taylor has reached double-digit point totals in 10-of-14 games. Junior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) ranked second on the team with 11 points. Bishop recorded 10 rebounds in the game, a career high. Hurtado recorded three steals on the afternoon while also tying for the team lead with two assists.
Jordan Gatchell was 6-for-11 from the field, posting a team-best 16 points. Thristan Lundy hammered home 4-of-8 field goal attempts for 11 points to rank second. Gatchell also tallied a team-best five assists on the afternoon. Gatchell was 3-for-4 from beyond the arc to lead the team in that category.
The Express return to action Sunday, Jan. 13 as they host the Bison of Gallaudet University in a 2:00 p.m. tilt at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. Stay up to date with the latest news directly from the Wells College athletic department by "liking" us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WellsExpress) and subscribing to our Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/WellsExpress).