AURORA, N.Y. – With a 70-62 victory over the College of Saint Elizabeth Saturday afternoon, the Wells College women's basketball squad has clinched a spot in the North Eastern Athletic Conference postseason. Following the victory, the Express improve to 10-3 overall within conference play and to 11-10 overall on the year. The Wildcats fall to 7-11 overall and to 5-7 in league play.
The Express have secured a playoff berth for the first time in their three year program history. As the Wildcats of SUNYIT have six games in hand while the Express have only four, the lowest possible rank in the North Division that Wells can fall to is third – the Express currently rank second overall in the division with a .769 conference winning percentage. As a team, Wells has set the program record for most victories in a season (11), most conference victories in a season (10), fewest overall losses (10), fewest conference losses (3) and most home victories (6).
Freshman Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) tied the program record for successful three-point field goals in one game, converting five of her seven opportunities from beyond the arc for a team-best 22 points. Junior Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.) posted her 55th career double-double after recording 22 rebounds alongside 21 points. Freshman Lindsay Achzet (Johnstown, N.Y.) posted 11 points for the Express, burying four field goals and three free throws to rank third on the team.
Additionally, the Express also tied the team's record for most free throws in one game with 40. Their 14 total steals also place them third all-time in single game history.
The Express opened up a 9-2 lead over their opponent right out of the gate, using seven unanswered points in the game's first 2:10 to build momentum. A Cheyenne Grant layup followed by a successful free throw conversion on the and-one opportunity granted the Screaming Eagles a one point lead at 14:33 of the half. However, the Express would quickly answer with an Erkson three-pointer to secure the lead for good.
In the first half alone, Erkson and Roser accounted for 29 of the team's 41 points with the former sinking all four of her three-point attempts. Roser also secured the double-double in only 17 minutes of action in the first half. Freshman Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kapaa, Hawaii) and junior Theresa Hernandez (Dewitt, N.Y.) posted four and three steals, respectively, in the first half alone.
In the second half, the Express built up their biggest lead of the contest, a 24 point margin, following the second of two foul shots by Roser to take a commanding 52-28 lead. The Screaming Eagles, however, mounted a comeback to cut the lead to only eight in the game's final 23 seconds following a Sharolin Sanders three-point basket.
Saint Elizabeth was led by Grant, who posted 17 total points following a 7-for-24 shooting performance from the floor. With 16 points, Kelly O'Dell ranked second following 14 made free throws. O'Dell also posted a team-best seven steals while Grant chipped in eight rebounds defensively.
The Express return to action Wednesday, Feb. 6 as they face-off against the Mustangs of Morrisville State College in a 5:00 p.m. road contest. Stay up to date with the latest news directly from the Wells College athletic department by "liking" us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WellsExpress) and subscribing to our Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/WellsExpress).