MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – Competing in the North Eastern Athletic Conference postseason for the fourth-straight season, the Wells College women's basketball team fell to the host Mustangs from Morrisville State College by a 70-60 score on Tuesday in the first round of action.
Wells, who entered the NEAC playoffs with a 12-6 record against conference opponents, wraps up its sixth season as a varsity program with a 16-10 overall mark. The Mustangs (19-7) will head to Lancaster, Pa. to take on the Chargers from Lancaster Bible this Saturday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the league semifinals.
Junior Ashida Cooper (Bensalem, Pa.) led Wells with 17 points, shooting 6-for-18 from the floor while making all four of her free throw attempts. Senior Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) tallied 13 points in her final career game, notching four assists, while freshman Carley Ryan (Middleburgh, N.Y.) led her team with five assists.
Down by a 53-33 score with 1:35 left in the third quarter, the Express made a strong comeback attempt. A layup by senior Lindsay Achzet (Johnstown, N.Y.) sparked a 9-0 run that shrank the Wells deficit to 53-42 with 9:07 left in regulation time. From there, the Mustangs re-established a 55-42 lead but another 8-0 run was put together with six points from Cooper.
Cooper's final free throw cut the Morrisville State lead to 59-54 with 2:22 left, but the Mustangs put the game out of reach with 11 free throw makes throughout the remainder of regulation. In total, Wells scored a game-high 21 points in the final 10 minutes alone but the early damage had been done.
Wells captured a 5-0 lead through the game's first 2:59, using a layup by Cooper in the paint to take the early lead. Morrisville State, however, scored six-straight points to overtake Wells by a 6-5 score with 4:15 to go in the first quarter. From there, the Mustangs poured it on and used a Jordan Anderson trey in the waning seconds to take a 19-10 lead.
Morrisville State built its lead to a game-high 13 points with 5:24 left in the first half as a Haley Kilmartin layup in the paint created the large advantage. Despite the Mustangs committing eight first half turnovers, the Express shot only 27.5% (11-for-40) in the opening 20 minutes while the Mustangs punished the visitors by shooting 15-for-34 from the floor (44.1%), making 4-of-9 field goals from distance.
A 16-to-7 scoring run by the Mustangs to open the third quarter ultimately prevented the Express from pulling off the comeback. In the second half of play alone, Wells committed 13 turnovers, many of which were unforced by the Morrisville State defense.
Kilmartin scored a game-high 23 points for Morrisville State while Anderson posted 19 points for the Mustangs. Charlotte Walker notched 11 points off the bench while Kaitlyn Griffin hauled in 10 rebounds.