The Wells College men's basketball team was clutch down the stretch and earned a 77-71 win at Houghton College on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The back-and-forth game featured 10 lead changes until Wells pulled away in the closing minutes.
The Express trailed 66-65 with five minutes left in the game, but answered with a six-point run to seize control. Rich Ross converted inside and made the foul shot for a three-point play, and two trips later Zach D'Arpino nailed a 3-pointer.
Wells took the lead with five minutes remaining and it held up over the closing minutes. Houghton missed three straight 3-point attempts trailing 71-68 in the final three minutes. Wells extended its lead to five with 30 seconds left in the half when Tyree Fisher drew a foul and converted both free throws.
Houghton made a 3-pointer with 15 seconds remaining to pull within two points but four successful free throws from A.J. Nesci down the stretch sealed the game for the Express.
Wells was 16-for-20 at the free-throw line and Houghton converted all 13 of its foul-shot chances. Both teams' largest lead was eight points. For Houghton that came in the middle part of the first half. For Wells, it came on the opening possession of the second half.
Four Wells players scored in double-figures. Rich Ross had 18 points, seven rebounds, and a team-high five assists. Jalen Tribble had 17 points and seven rebounds. Nesci had 13 points and DaVontai Crutch scored 10. Zach D'Arpino had nine points on three successful 3-pointers.
The victory lifted Wells' record to 1-3 on the year and Houghton is 0-5. Wells begins North Eastern Athletic Conference play at home Saturday, Dec. 1 against SUNY Cobleskill at 3 p.m.