AURORA, N.Y. – Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.) finished with 26 points and 23 rebounds and Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kappa, Hawaii) added 18 points to lead the Wells College women's basketball team past the Cazenovia College Wildcats 66-56 in North Eastern Athletic Conference action this evening in Aurora. With the victory the Express improve to 6-13 (4-7 NEAC), while the Wildcats fall to 5-13 (4-7 NEAC).
Haley Zambito (West Bloomfield, N.Y.) led the Wildcats with 17 points, Erin O'Malley (Torrance, Calif.) added 16 points and seven rebounds, and Megan McDermott (Greene, N.Y.) finished with a team high 18 rebounds to go along with six points for Cazenovia.
Leading 14-12 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half, two straight old fashion three-point plays by Roser and two good free throw shots by Kelli Furney (Camden, N.Y.) quickly extended Wells' lead to ten (22-12). The Wildcats would breathe a little life before the half, closing the gap to six (24-18) on a jumper by McDermott and a final second lay-up by Vicki Dufort (Ballston Spa, N.Y.).
Furney opened the second half with a 3-pointer and Artaho-Aki followed with her own three and two straight lay-ups to push the Express lead to 13 points (34-21) early in the half. The Express maintained their large lead late into the half until a 14-4 run by Cazenovia, including back-to-back treys by Zambito, cut the lead to three (48-45) with 7:09 remaining.
Artaho-Aki responded for Wells with two straight buckets, followed by a mid-range jumper from Rachel Mattraw (Chaumont, N.Y.) to extend the Wells lead back to nine (54-45). The Wildcats would make one last run, cutting their deficit to four (56-52) on Zambito's fourth triple of the half with 1:23 remaining, but Wells followed with buckets from Artaho-Aki, Roser, and Mattraw while holding the Wildcats to just one field goal the rest of the way to seal the victory.
Wells held a decisive advantage on the boards 55-41 and also finished 36.8 percent shooting from the field, including 3-7 from behind the arc while finishing 13-18 from the foul line.
The Wildcats shot 34.8 from the floor, including 5-10 from long range, but finished just 5-12 from the charity stripe.
The Express return to action this weekend when they travel to take on NEAC opponent The College of St. Elizabeth at 1:00 p.m. in Morristown, N.J.