AURORA, N.Y. – The Wells College women's basketball team posted a rare home loss on Saturday, falling to the Nittany Lions from Penn St.-Abington by an 87-68 margin. The Express fall to 9-5 overall and to 5-2 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The Nittany Lions move to 9-2 after earning its fifth league win in seven contests.
Junior Ashida Cooper (Bensalem, Pa.) posted 22 points for the Express in the loss. Sophomore Kamarie Maturine (Brooklyn, N.Y.) posted a team-best 13 rebounds while scoring 12 points. Senior Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) set up a team-leading five baskets, scoring seven points. Wells posted its first home loss of the year, dropping to 6-1 within the Farenthold Athletic Wing – the last Express loss at home came exactly 11 months to the day (02/17/15 vs. Morrisville St.).
Wells led by a 35-33 score at halftime, despite shooting 1-for-12 from distance and missing all four foul shots in the first half. The Nittany Lions, however, stormed back to shoot over 50% from the floor while making a dominant 18-of-21 attempts from the free throw line to earn the victory. The Express finished the day 3-for-23 from long range and an uncharacteristic 5-for-14 mark from the line.
Opening the game on a 6-0 run, the Express ended up trailing by a six with only 7:50 to go in the first half as Madison Kimball hit for back-to-back free throws, creating a 20-14 lead for the Nittany Lions. However, the Express rallied back as freshman Shelby Medovich (Harpursville, N.Y.) scored seven points for Wells in the final four minutes to propel her team to a halftime advantage.
The majority of the third quarter was spent trading leads as both teams scored exactly 14 points over the first 6:38 of the second half. With her team down 49-47 with 3:10 left in the third stanza, Shayna Rodriguez scored all nine of her team's points over the next 2:32 to set the Express down by a seven-point spread with 38 seconds left.
Wells would not lead again as the Nittany Lions cruised in the fourth quarter as the Express, forced to press with a deficit in the game, allowed a game-high 29 points in the final 10 minutes alone.
Rodriguez scored 40 points for Penn St.-Abington, the most by any opponent against the Express. She also led her team with five assists while Mallory Mugnier picked up 12 rebounds despite scoring only two points in the contest. Janaiah Elum registered 26 points for the Nittany Lions, making all eight of her shots from the charity stripe.
Wells begins a four-game road stretch on Saturday, Jan. 23 as it travels to Lancaster Bible College for a 3 p.m. contest against the Chargers.