AURORA, N.Y. – Lauren Heliger (Reading, Pa.) scored a game high 26 points to lead the Lancaster Bible College women's basketball team to a 63-56 victory over the Wells College Express in North Eastern Athletic Conference action Friday evening in Aurora. The loss drops the Express to 1-8 (0-2 NEAC) while the Chargers improve to 3-5 (3-1 NEAC).
Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.) paced the Express with 19 points and nine rebounds, teammates Kelli Furney (Camden, N.Y.) added 10 points, while Kristen Ryan (Syracuse, N.Y.) chipped in with seven points and eight rebounds.
Heliger was impressive for the Chargers, finishing 11 of 11 from the line while adding eight rebounds and four assists. Sarah Heilenman (Williamsport, Pa.) added 12 points and seven rebounds and Emily Lloyd (Northumberland, Pa.) chipped in 14 points to round out the scoring for Lancaster.
The Express got off to a hot start opening up an 11 point lead (17-6) five minutes into the first half and would continue to hold a nine point lead (21-12) with less than ten minutes remaining. Despite the lead, the Chargers continued to pressure the ball and would rattle off a 10-0 run in a span of two minutes, evaporating the lead and taking a 22-21 lead with five minutes to play. Lancaster would continue their hot shooting entering the half on an 18-5 run and 30-26 lead.
The second half would be a back and forth battle between both squads featuring eight ties and eight lead changes with neither team gaining more than a four point advantage through the first 15 minutes of play.
With the Express clinging to a three point lead (54-51) the Chargers began to make a run. Lloyd hit a jumper and Heilenman tied the game for the tenth time on a free throw as a 7-0 run gave Lancaster a 58-54 lead with 1:39 to play. Wells trimmed the lead to two (58-56) on a jumper from Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kappaa, Hawaii) with just over a minutes to play but a foul by the Express put Heilenman back on the line and she delivered, hitting both free throws and extending Lancaster's lead back to four (60-56) with 41-seconds remaining.
The Express had one last chance but the Chargers defense forced a turnover and Lancaster hit three of their next four throws to seal the seven point victory.
The Chargers were clutch down the stretch from the line hitting seven of eight free throws with under two minutes to play and would finish 20 of 30 for the game. Both teams were even from the field with Lancaster shooting 36.8 percent and Wells finishing 36.1 percent from the floor. The Express held a decisive advantage on the boards 51-32.
Wells returns to action tomorrow when they welcome Penn. St .Berks to campus for a NEAC match-up set to tip at 3 p.m. in Aurora.