AURORA, N.Y. – Leading by 10 through the game's first 8:11, the Wells College women's basketball team was able to stave off an impressive comeback attempt by the College of Saint Elizabeth, winning Sunday afternoon's North Eastern Athletic Conference contest by a 73-66 margin. With the win, Wells improves to 8-12 (7-8 NEAC) while Saint Elizabeth evens their overall record at 11-11 (9-8 NEAC).
Wells was led by junior Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) and her 23 total points. She also posted four steals and three assists for the Express who have won three-straight games against the Eagles. Junior Lindsay Achzet (Johnstown, N.Y.) scored 13 points for Wells while senior Kaitlynne Knapp (Port Byron, N.Y.) struck for 12 points and collected a team-best eight rebounds.
An Erkson layup with 12:49 lifted Wells to an impressive 17-7 lead, but the Eagles scored 17-straight points to capture a 24-17 lead. Wells answered that stunning stretch of play with the game's next nine points, retaking the lead by a 26-24 score with 3:46 left in the first half.
After tying the game three more times in the half's waning minutes, a floater from junior Jasmine Thomas (Las Vegas, Nev.) with two seconds left on the clock set the halftime score at 33 aside. The Eagles outshot the Express by a 41.9%-to-37.8% margin in the first half, but the hosts outrebounded the guests 24-to-21.
In the second half, Wells and Saint Elizabeth played to five more tied scores. The Express, however, took the lead for good after sophomore Anita Babb (Auburn, N.Y.) laid the ball up and in after being fouled. Her free throw completed the three-point play, placing Wells up 53-52 with 11:05 left in regulation time. From there, Wells went on a 9-2 run and never looked back, outscoring their opponent 20-to-14 down the stretch to maintain a lead on Saint Elizabeth.
Amerisse Rogers was 4-for-4 from three-point distance, leading Saint Elizabeth with 22 total points while reeling in eight rebounds and tallying six assists. Ashley Pledger, who led her team in first half scoring, picked up 16 points total for the game while Alexandria Garcia scored 12 of her own.
Wells outscored Saint Elizabeth by a 42-to-22 margin in the paint and also held edges in second chance points (12-to-7) and points scored off of fast breaks (6-to-0). The Wells bench also came through with 14 points while the Eagles reserves accounted for 11 of their team's 66 points.
The Express return to action Tuesday, Feb. 17 as they host Morrisville State College at 5 p.m. Wells will honor its three graduating senior student-athletes, Knapp, Cassie Smythe (Eden, N.Y.) and Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kapa'a, Hawaii), with a pregame ceremony.