AURORA, N.Y. – A whopping 13 players scored at least two points for the Wells College men's basketball team in their 68-31 defeat of Wilson College Thursday evening at the Farenthold Athletic Wing. Wells (3-12, 3-4 NEAC) Head Coach Joe Wojtylko secured his 100th career coaching victory with the result, improving his team to 3-4 within North Eastern Athletic Conference play. Wilson (3-9, 2-6 NEAC), in their first season sponsoring men's basketball, draws their sixth league loss of the year.
Wojtylko, in his seventh season at Wells, earns both his 100th overall head coaching victory along with his 90th with the Express. Serving as the interim Head Coach at Hobart College in 2006, Wojtylko accumulated 10 victories in 17 games and secured his first victory with a 92-78 win against North Carolina Wesleyan on Jan. 6, 2006.
Hired by Wells to create the College's first-ever men's basketball team in 2007, Wojtylko's cagers took the floor for the first time in the 2008-09 season and defeated Hilbert on Nov. 18, 2008 for the program's first victory. Playing without a home court in Aurora due to ongoing renovations to the facility, Wojtylko's first-year team posted an impressive .500 record (14-14) despite playing only three games within the Farenthold Athletic Wing.
The very next season, Wojtylko's basketball team became the fastest NCAA Division III program to reach the 20-win threshold after racking up 21 wins in only 28 games. His third year basketball program in 2010-11 claimed the program's first NEAC Championship and went on to make an appearance in the 2011 NCAA Division III tournament, the first team in Wells history to reach the national tournament.
In all-time Wells College athletics history, Wojtylko has coached the fifth-most games in school history (178) and his 90 wins in one sport at Wells are the most by any individual dating back to the 1975 season, the dawn of intercollegiate athletics in Aurora. Wojtylko is also the only coach in the NCAA Division III era of Wells athletics to boast a .500-or-better winning percentage with over 100 games coached.
In Thursday's game, seniors Joe Walton (Ocala, Fla.) and Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.) joined sophomore Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) with a team-best eight points apiece for Wells. Seniors Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) and Tyrese Campbell (Staten Island, N.Y.) handed out three assists apiece while sophomore James Feocco (Auburn, N.Y.) led the way with seven rebounds.
Wilson opened the game with a three-point basket by Rasul Jackson, elevating the visitors to a 3-0 lead. The Phoenix would post their final lead of the day following a Marqwon Wynn jumper with 11:28 left in the first half and from there, the Express would score 23 of the game's next 26 points to capture a 33-14 lead with 2:33 remaining in the opening frame.
Senior EZ Garcia (Cotulla, Texas) would drain a "three" as the clock ran out in the opening 20 minutes, elevating the Express to a 41-19 halftime lead. The Express would continue their solid shooting performance with 10 of the game's first 13 points of the second half and ultimately build a 37 point lead after a jumper by freshman Jonathan Brijmohan (Tampa, Fla.) with just under one minute left in regulation time.
The Express would limit Wilson to only two points for the game's final 9:35, holding the Phoenix to a season-low 31 points. Starting guard Rahim Bunch would leave the contest within the first nine minutes of play due to injury, leaving a void in the Wilson offense. Jackson posted a team-high nine points while Wynn posted eight points off the bench. As a team, Wells limited Wilson to 20% shooting (8-for-40) while the Phoenix converted only 50% of their free throws.
Wells returns to action Saturday, Jan. 24 as they face-off against Lancaster Bible College in a 2 p.m. tilt at the Farenthold Athletic Wing. The Chargers (12-1, 6-0 NEAC) were the runners-up to last year's NEAC Men's Basketball Championship, registering a 22-9 record (16-2 NEAC) before falling to the Mustangs of Morrisville State College.