PURCHASE, N.Y. – Despite double-digit point totals by three members of the Express, the Wells College men's basketball team posted an 84-80 loss to the Valiants of Manhattanville College Friday afternoon at the Kennedy Gymnasium. With the loss, the Express fall to 3-6 overall on the year while the Valiants even their overall record at 5-5.
Junior J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) led the Express with 16 total points, posting a team-leading three assists and three steals en route to the loss. Sophomore Randy McCormick (Massillon, Ohio) racked up 14 total points in only 17 minutes off the bench for Wells, pouring home four three-point baskets in only seven total attempts. Senior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) ranked third on the team, posting 12 total points for the Express.
Wells got off to a slow start in the contest, allowing the host Valiants to seven unanswered points to begin the game. The Express, however, battled back to knot the score at 21 aside with only 8:09 remaining in the first stanza following back-to-back baskets by freshman Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) and Walton.
With time winding down in the first half, junior Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) recorded a clutch layup with only 12 seconds remaining in the first half to tie the score at 36. The Express were able to hold the hosts scoreless in the final minute and a half to carry the momentum into the half.
Manhattanville scored the first basket of the second half via a three-pointer by Jack Bramswig and never looked back. Manhattanville held the slight edge in second half shooting (52% to 51.6%) and both teams each converted five three-pointers in 11 chances in the final 20 minutes. The difference maker in the stanza proved to be the 15 fouls issued against the Express that sent the Valiants to the line 20 times. Wells shot only six times from the charity stripe in the final half.
Bramswig led the way for Manhattanville with 25 total points, shooting 9-for-13 from the floor while chipping in six free throws. Anthony Maestre racked up 18 points while Juan Camacho and Colin Campbell recorded 15 and 13 points, respectively. Bramswig also led his team in rebounds (10) and blocks (3).