AURORA, N.Y. – Five different players reached double-digit point totals en route to an 86-78 victory over the Nittany Lions of Penn State Berks Saturday afternoon at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the victory, Wells boosts their overall record to 5-9 while improving their North Eastern Athletic Conference record to 4-3. The loss drops the Nittany Lions to 3-9 overall on the year and to 3-3 in league play.
Senior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) scored a team-leading 15 points in only 17 minutes of action, chipping in eight rebounds in the process. Classmate Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) ranked second on the team with 13 total points, using a 5-for-8 shooting performance from the floor alongside two three-point baskets to make up his total.
Junior J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) racked up seven assists alongside nine rebounds and 12 points. Junior Tyrese Campbell (Staten Island, N.Y.) and freshman James Feocco (Auburn, N.Y.) recorded double-digit point totals for the Express in the victory. Campbell scored 11 points while Feocco scored 10 points, both career-high marks.
With 13 total lead changes in the first half alone, Wells and Penn State Berks battled throughout the entire opening 20 minutes. Wells captured the lead for good, however, in the stanza's waning minutes after Dameon Nixon both tied the game and took the lead with two converted foul shots with 1:19 left.
With the Express taking the ball over trailing by a 40-39 margin, Campbell added a jumper only five seconds later to take a one point lead. A clutch three-point basket by freshman Darius Smith (Lanham, Md.) with three seconds left gave Wells a four point lead going into the locker room. In the half, Wells saw 28 of their 44 total first half points scored by a bench player.
A Feocco layup with 8:41 left in the second half created a 71-55 lead in favor of the host Express, their largest of the afternoon. Wells held the lead throughout the entire second half – the closest the Nittany Lions came to taking the lead came when Tom Smith converted a jumper with only 14 seconds expired in the half. Wells, however, went on a run that saw the Express lead by as many as 13 within the half's first five minutes.
Nixon posted 20 of his team's 78 points, pulling down six rebounds in the process. Smith placed second amongst his roster with 17 points while leading his squad in total rebounding with eight. Christian Burggraf, Joel Ellison and Darren Major recorded 13, 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Wells returns to action this Monday, Jan. 20 as they host the Wildcats of SUNY Institute of Technology in a 7:00 p.m. home game. The tilt, originally scheduled for Nov. 27, 2013, was postponed due to inclement weather in the Finger Lakes region.