AURORA, N.Y. – Senior Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) bombed a three-pointer with just under eight seconds left to elevate the Wells College men's basketball team to a 90-87 victory over the Wildcats of SUNY Institute of Technology on Monday at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With their sixth-straight victory over SUNYIT, the Express improve to 6-9 overall and to 5-3 within North Eastern Athletic Conference play. The loss drops the Wildcats to 7-4 overall and to 2-3 for league play.
The Wildcats possessed a two point lead, 87-85, with only 1:32 remaining in regulation time. A jump shot by junior Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.) knotted the score at 87 with only 59 seconds left on the clock. Two SUNYIT turnovers down the stretch granted Wells the ball with only 10 seconds left following a timeout. With the ball inbounded by senior Erich Kaempffe (North Rose, N.Y.), Hurtado bombed a three from the top of the arc to grant Wells a three point lead that they did not relinquish.
Jean led the way with 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Express, recording his third career double-double for Wells. Senior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) ranked second on the team with 19 total points while Hurtado ranked third with 14 total points. Junior J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) posted four assists and three steals, leading the team in both categories while notching 11 points.
Wells trailed by a 38-37 halftime margin and allowed the Wildcats to build a 15 point advantage in the second half's first 4:26. SUNYIT outscored the Express by a 20-to-6 margin across that span but allowed Wells back into the game down the stretch. Following an Alonzo Grainger three-pointer with 10:05 left in the second half that placed the guests up 74-61, Wells went on a 13 point run to tie the game.
Both teams tied the game five additional times down the stretch before Hurtado's heroics in the stanza's late stages. On the evening, the lead changed 10 total times with the Express holding on to the lead for the final time down the stretch.
Ryan James led SUNYIT with 21 total points, bombing two three-pointers and shooting 6-for-11 from the floor. Grainger, the NEAC leader in three-point percentage, stayed true to form with a 4-for-5 performance from beyond the arc. Alexander Drake and Kaleel Johnson each scored 14 points for the Wildcats.
The Express will travel to play SUNYIT on Wednesday, Jan. 22 in the first-ever home-and-home series in school history. The Wildcats and the Express tip-off at 6:00 p.m. in Marcy, N.Y.