AURORA, N.Y. – In a rematch of the 2014 North Eastern Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Championship game, the Wells College women's basketball team was unable to replicate the favorable result from last March, posting a 57-47 loss to the Chargers of Lancaster Bible College Saturday afternoon. With the loss, Wells drops to 3-10 overall on the year and to 2-6 within NEAC play. Lancaster Bible improves to 10-3 overall and to 8-1 within the league.
Junior Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) led all Wells players with 18 points, playing all 40 minutes for the Express. Senior Kaitlynne Knapp (Port Byron, N.Y.) scored 10 points for Wells while sophomore Anita Babb (Auburn, N.Y.) went 6-for-6 from the free throw line on her way to scoring eight points. Senior Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kapa'a, Hawaii) led the team with three assists.
Erkson's jumper with 5:01 remaining in the first half tied the game at 18 but Wells missed their next four field goals and committed two turnovers. During this stretch, the Chargers increased their lead to four. In the half's waning minutes, Wells saw back-to-back baskets by Knapp to tie the score going into halftime tied at 22. These early first half misses would haunt the Express, however, as potent three-point shooting by the visitors would seal the game.
Katy Stover opened up the second half with a three-point basket only 29 seconds into the stanza, giving her team the lead for good. Wells would shrink the deficit to one following a Brooke Benedetto (Williamstown, N.Y.) layup with 17:30 left, but the Express would commit two turnovers and miss a three-point attempt. Lancaster Bible would make the Express pay as Kirsten Webster's trey created a six point lead, 32-26, in favor of the guests.
Trailing by as much as 10, Wells rallied to shrink the deficit to one point, 46-45, following a Babb layup with 5:36 to go in regulation time. The Express, however, immediately allowed a layup to the Chargers and then committed two turnovers and missed their next two field goals. During that span, the Chargers scored eight-straight points and the game officially slipped out of reach for Wells.
Lancaster Bible shot 43.2%, converting 19-of-44 shots from the floor, while posting six three-point baskets. The misses from the floor were costly for the Express (16-for-46, 34.8%) as Wells committed fewer turnovers than the Chargers but lost the rebounding battle (39-to-21). Shanice Smith scored 18 points and pulled down 17 rebounds while Katy Stover posted 17 points for her squad.
The Express return to action Sunday, Jan. 25 as they host the Nittany Lions of Penn St.-Berks at high noon in the Farenthold Athletic Wing. Prior to the contest, Wells will recognize and honor their 2014 NEAC Championship women's basketball team with a brief pre-game ceremony.