AURORA, N.Y. – Junior Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) posted a team-best 18 points as the Wells College men's basketball team was saddled with a 71-64 loss Saturday evening at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the loss, Wells falls to 0-4 on the year while the Bombers improve to 2-3 on the season.
Junior J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) was second on the team, scoring 11 total points while racking up a team-leading four assists. Senior Jonathan Bonds (Chicago, Ill.) led the team with three blocks while sophomore Randy McCormick (Massillon, Ohio) contributed with a team-leading six rebounds, all on the defensive glass.
After taking an early 2-0 lead following a McCormick layup, the Bombers tied the game at two apiece with a Frank Mitchell layup in the early stages of the first half. The Express immediately went on to build a seven point lead following a Simmons layup, an Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) jumper and a Simmons three-point basket with 2:22 expired in the game.
Wells extended their lead to a game-high eight points with 12:17 left in the first half, using two Ryan Hood (Massillon, Ohio) foul shots before two point plays from Simmons, Paul and Walton. Ithaca climbed back in the contest, shrinking the Wells lead to one point, 38-37, with a Joey Ross three-point basket with 34 seconds left in the stanza.
After battling back and forth to start the second half, a layup from Mitchell eventually tied the score at 50-50 with 13:12 left in regulation time. The backbreaker came from Joey Ross, who bombed a three-pointer at 12:05 as the visitors took the lead for good. With Wells trailing by a 58-54 margin, a three-pointer from Chris Jordan further bolstered the Ithaca lead and the score was never as close as three points for the remainder of the game.
Wells was 3-for-8 from the free throw line in the second half while the Bombers shot a combined 81.8% (9-for-11) from the charity stripe. For the game, Wells was 11-for-21 from the free throw line while the Bombers converted 24-of-29 chances on foul shots.
Ithaca was led by Mitchell's 23 total points – he also chipped in with nine rebounds while Sam Bevan paced the Bombers with 10 total rebounds, all on the defensive glass. Chris Jordan assisted a team-best five Ithaca baskets and also racked up three takeaways, also leading the team. Ross was 3-for-5 from downtown while Jordan and Bevan added three-point baskets for the Bombers.
Wells returns to action this Monday, Nov. 25 as they open North Eastern Athletic Conference play on the road against the Wildcats of Cazenovia College in a 6:00 p.m. contest.