Aurora, NY– Darrell Bullock hit a lay-up with 1.3 seconds remaining as the Wells College men's basketball team (8-4) knocked off defending NEAC Champion SUNYIT Wildcats (8-4) 80-78 on Sunday afternoon at Wells. Rionn Pradia finished with a team high 20 points, while Juan Paulino recorded his ninth double-double of the season finishing with 12 points, 18 rebounds and six assists. David Golembiowski led the Wildcats with a game high 27 points and nine rebounds. The Express have now won seven of their last nine games including four straight.
The Express jumped out to an early 10-3 lead on a free-throw by Pradia and when Terrance Wright hit a three-pointer to extend the lead to nine with 12:15 remaining, everything seemed to be falling Wells' way. But the Wildcats would refuse to go away. Diloo Brown would go on to score eight points in a two-minute span erasing the Express lead and tying the game at 30-30 with 7:22 remaining in the first half.
Both teams would exchange shots over the next five minutes, but with the game tied at 42-42 the Wildcats would take a slight advantage hitting six free-throws and a lay-up over the final two minutes to take a 50-47 lead into halftime.
The Express opened the second half with seven straight points and would lead by as many as nine points in the half, but with 7:48 remaining the Wildcats would go on an 8-0 run capped by a Ricky Charles lay-up to trim the lead to 75-74 with 4:34 remaining.
With the Express holding a 78-74 lead, Brown would again take over for the Wildcats hitting a lay-up and two free-throws to tie the game at 78-78 with 40-seconds remaining.
Holding the ball for the final shot on its next possession, the Express would miss a three-point attempt which would be rebounded by SUNYIT senior Floyd Fitzpatrick Thorne, but Paulino would knock the ball loose from Fitzpatrick Thorne and pass it to Bullock who hit a layup with 1.3 seconds remaining to give Wells a thrilling 80-78 win over the Wildcats.
The win was the first for Wells over SUNYIT who defeated the Express in the NEAC Championship just a year ago to earn a trip to the NCAA tournament.
Wells had one of its best offensive efforts of the year shooting 48 percent (30-62) from the floor, while the 13 three's made in the game sets a new school record. Pradia's five three's in the game also sets a new school mark for three's made.
In all six different Express players finished in double figures. Thomas finished with 11 points and five assists, Matt Duffy tallied 11 points and six assists, Jarrell Williams finished with 10 points and six rebounds, while Bullock chipped in with 10 points.
Wells will return to action next against Green Mountain College on Saturday, January 16th at 3:00 pm at Wells.