WASHINGTON, D.C. – Seniors Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) and Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each scored 16 points in a 70-65 loss to the Bison of Gallaudet University. With the loss, Wells falls to 3-8 overall and to 3-2 in the North Eastern Athletic Conference. Gallaudet improves to 3-8 on the year and to 2-2 in league play.
Paul was 4-for-9 from the floor while picking up a team-leading seven rebounds for the Express. In addition, Paul was 8-for-9 from the charity stripe and also recorded three takeaways in the game. In his first game of the season, Hurtado racked up 16 total points and bombed two of his team's six three-point baskets while recording five steals to lead the team.
Wells trailed from start to finish as the host Bison recorded a whopping seven three-point baskets in the first 20 minutes alone, including a 3-for-3 performance from beyond the arc by Ben Coleman. From the field, Gallaudet shot nearly 53% (12-for-23) and also converted 5-of-8 shots from the foul line.
Despite trailing by as much as 22 points with 2:53 left in the first half, the Express mounted a large-scale comeback in the waning minutes. Wells poured home three total three-point baskets in the final 1:51 of the half, including three's from sophomore Salvatore Fabozzi (Staten Island, N.Y.), Hurtado and junior EZ Garcia (Cotulla, Texas). At the half, Wells trailed by a 36-25 margin and continued their rally to open the second half.
Needing six points to tie the game with 7:17 left in the second trailing by 54-47, Garcia buried both free throw attempts following an Anton Jackson foul to start a rally. Paul followed with a layup shortly after a Trey Gordon turnover and added the game's next two foul shots to cut the deficit to one point at 54-53 with 5:13 left in regulation time.
The Express, unfortunately, weren't able to successfully overtake the host Bison. Two Garcia free throws cut the Gallaudet lead to one, 59-58, once again with 3:06 remaining but Wells allowed five-straight points to the hosts to increase the buffer. A three-point basket by senior Jonathan Bonds (Chicago, Ill.) with 30 seconds left in regulation time cut the score to 64-61 in favor of the Bison, but the Express needed to foul to halt the clock. Gallaudet was 6-for-6 from the line down the stretch to conclude the game.
Gallaudet shot nearly 50% (20-for-41) on the afternoon, led by Coleman's 14 total points. Orion Palmer racked up 13 points while Joshua McGriff and Gordon tallied 12 and 11 points, respectively. Both teams combined for a combined 52 fouls.
Wells returns to action Tuesday, Jan. 14 as they host the Pioneers of Alfred State College in a 7:00 p.m. contest at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing.