AURORA, N.Y. – Despite a 25-point performance by freshman Rich Ross (Bronx, N.Y.), the Wells College men's basketball team posted an 84-76 loss to the visiting Mustangs from Morrisville State College on Wednesday at the Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the loss, Wells falls to 1-3 overall on the year and to 0-1 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. Morrisville State moves to 4-3 overall and to 1-0 against league opponents.
Ross poured home 25 points and 10 rebounds for Wells, securing his first collegiate double-double in the process. Junior Vaughndell Brantley (Syracuse, N.Y.) also collected his first double-double in a Wells uniform, scoring 14 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Junior Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) and senior Jordan Bishop (Arlington, Texas) each recorded 12 points to round out the double-digit scorers for the Express.
Wells built an 8-5 lead after a Brantley layup with 15:40 remaining in the first half, but the Mustangs charged ahead with a 9-0 run to capture a 14-8 lead with 14:25 left in the opening stanza. Morrisville State opened up an eight point lead, 23-15, with 9:48 remaining in the first half but the Express countered with a 7-0 run that was sparked by a Bishop layup in the paint.
Bishop scored back-to-back baskets down the stretch and his layup with 1:38 remaining in the first half put Wells ahead by a 33-32 margin with time ticking away. Morrisville State's Joe Hulbert bombed a three-point basket with 78 seconds left on the clock, but a clutch layup by Bishop with one second left tied the game at 36 entering the half.
A sluggish start coming out of the locker room, however, doomed Wells as the Mustangs opened up the second half on a 7-0 run that the Express could not recover from. A big 6-0 run by Wells down the stretch brought the team back to within two points, 73-71 with 3:33 remaining, but the Mustangs outscored Wells 11-to-5 in the final 2:39 to clinch the win.
Ibrahima Toure scored 22 points and added 14 rebounds, leading the team in the latter category. Trent Ward equaled Toure's scoring output and chipped in with a team-leading five assists. Ward also added seven rebounds for Morrisville State.
Wells returns to action Saturday, Dec. 5 as it faces-off against NEAC-rival SUNY Poly on the road at 1 p.m.