AURORA, N.Y. – Three different players scored at least 11 points for the Wells College men's basketball team in Sunday's 68-60 victory over Penn St.-Berks at the Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the win, Wells improves to 4-13 on the year (4-5 NEAC) while the Nittany Lions drop to 3-11 and to 3-5 within conference play.
Senior Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) scored a career-high 19 points, pouring home six field goals including two from long distance. His nine rebounds were a season-high mark for Simmons, who also made a season-best five free throws. Senior Erich Kaempffe (North Rose, N.Y.) also enjoyed a strong performance for Wells, scoring a career-high 14 points after connecting on four three-point field goals in the game.
Senior Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.) recorded a double-double, scoring 11 points while posting as many rebounds. He also led his team in free throw shooting (7-for-9) and led the team with three steals. His four double-doubles in 2014-15 lead all members of the Wells men's basketball team.
Wells racked up a 6-1 lead through the game's first 3:34, but Christian Burggraf poured home two three-point baskets sandwiched around a foul shot to quickly grant his team the 8-6 lead. Burggraf's jumper with only 6:12 on the first half clock lifted Penn St.-Berks to a 10 point lead, 23-13, as the Nittany Lions scored 22 of the game's 29 points after the hosts initial 6-1 explosion.
The Express, however, concluded the half with an impressive 18-4 run that saw the game eventually tied at 25 aside following a Simmons three-point basket with 4:03 left in the first half. A layup in the paint by Jean would give Wells a lead they would not relinquish. A late jumper by senior Joe Walton (Ocala, Fla.) elevated Wells to a 31-27 lead at the half. The Express outshot their opponent 42.3%-to-31.3% through the opening 20 minutes and held the advantage in rebounding, 24-to-18.
Leading by a one point margin with 16:34 remaining in regulation time, Kaempffe had one of the hottest offensive performances by a Wells shooter in recent memory. The senior captain poured home three treys on his next four shots, instantly creating an eight point advantage with his last shot at 10:15. Wells built up a game-high 12 point lead with 9:13 remaining after Jean made back-to-back free throws.
Penn St.-Berks would shrink the lead to 58-55 in favor of Wells with 1:54 left in the game, but Wells scored 10 of the game's next 15 points to put the game away. During that stretch, senior EZ Garcia (Cotulla, Texas) scored six of his team's points and a three-pointer by sophomore Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) added insurance.
Burggraf scored 18 points while Dameon Nixon scored 17 points for the Nittany Lions. Baba Waples rounded out the double-digit scorers with 16 points. Nixon added a team-best five assists while Burggraf added a team-leading two steals.
Wells returns to action Wednesday, Jan. 28 as they face-off against Keuka at 8 p.m. on the road.