AURORA, N.Y. – The Wells College men's basketball team was saddled with a 68-60 loss against Morrisville State College Tuesday evening at the Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the loss, the fifth-place Express fall to 7-16 overall and to 7-8 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The win boosts the sixth-place Mustangs to 10-13 on the year and to 7-9 within conference play.
Senior Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) scored a team-best 14 points and also pulled down eight rebounds to tie for the team lead with classmate Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.), who scored 11 points of his own. Senior EZ Garcia (Cotulla, Texas) narrowly missed a double-double, scoring nine points and chipping in with eight rebounds.
Wells opened up a game-high seven point lead following a Simmons three-point basket with 11:21 remaining in the first half, elevating the Express to a 15-8 lead. The Mustangs, however, would tie the score for the second time with 3:30 left in the opening frame, using a Qwuhail Barlow jumper to set the score at 24 all.
The Express, however, fell apart down the stretch and allowed a 6-0 run that included a Trent Ward three-pointer before three foul shots that included technical foul shots. A Jean free throw cut into the deficit, but a layup by Ibrahima Toure with 12 seconds left in the opening 20 created a seven-point lead for the Mustangs at halftime.
A Ward layup with 17:49 left in regulation time granted Morrisville State a game-high 10 point lead, 39-29, but Wells came roaring back with 10-straight points to tie the score at 39 aside following a Jean layup in the paint. A trey by sophomore Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) with 11:30 left in regulation time placed Wells ahead, 47-46, but the Express would not lead again as six quick points by Morrisville State effectively put the game out of reach.
Including those six points, Morrisville State outscored Wells 22-13 across the final 7:28 of regulation time to prevent another comeback attempt by the Express. Ward finished with 19 points for the Mustangs while Barlow and Toure each struck for 15 points. Morrisville State won the game despite collecting only five offensive rebounds the entire 40 minutes of play.
The Express will face-off against SUNY Cobleskill on the road this Friday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.