MARCY N.Y. – Despite outscoring the host Wildcats in the third and fourth quarters, the six-point halftime deficit was too much for the Wells College women's basketball team to overcome in Sunday's 59-58 road loss to the SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Wells evens its overall record at 4-4 while dropping to 1-1 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference – the Wildcats are now 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the league.
Junior Ashida Cooper (Bensalem, Pa.) narrowly missed a double-double, scoring a team-best 20 points while hauling in eight rebounds. Sophomore Kamarie Maturine (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and freshman Carley Ryan (Middleburgh, N.Y.) each posted 10 rebounds while the latter also turned in three steals to lead the team.
Wells erased a 55-50 deficit to tie the game at 55 with just under five minutes remaining in regulation. Freshman Shelby Medovich (Harpursville, N.Y.) hit back-to-back free throws before Ryan forced a Wildcats turnover and returned it for the easy two points, shrinking the deficit. A free throw by Cooper tied the game for the fifth time with 3:48 remaining.
With under a minute to go, Cooper tied the game at 58 and a late Wells foul sent Geena Gallo to the line where she missed the second of two free throws. However, the Wildcats collected the offensive rebound and the Express was forced to foul. With Gallo missing both free throws this time, Maturine reeled in the defensive rebound and her team called for a time out.
Exiting the timeout with only five ticks left on the scoreboard, Wells appeared to have scored the game-winning basket as the horn sounded but an Express player was called for traveling after a scrum on the hardwood.
The Express won the first quarter, leading the Wildcats by a 14-11 score, but SUNY Poly charged ahead with 20 points in the second stanza to create a 31-25 lead entering the half. The six-point deficit was not able to be overcome, despite the Express outscoring the Wildcats by a 33-to-28 spread in the final 20 minutes.
The five starters for SUNY Poly combined for 58 of the team's 59 points as Lauren Knowles posted 20 points with Gallo adding 16 of her own. Paige Gallo turned in 11 points while Erica Charbonneau contributed with 13 rebounds despite shooting 0-for-7 from the floor.
Wells will travel to SUNY Cobleskill for a 2 p.m. NEAC match on Sunday, Dec. 6 against the Fighting Tigers.