(Harrisburg, Pa.)─ The Wells College men's basketball team (15-11, 13-5 NEAC) battled back from an early second half deficit to knock off the two-time defending North Eastern Athletic Conference Champion No. 2 SUNY IT (14-11, 13-5 NEAC) by a score of 73-69 on Saturday afternoon in Middleton, Pa. With the victory the Express advance to their third-straight NEAC Championship game and will take on host and No. 1 seed Penn. St. Harrisburg (15-10, 14-4 NEAC) at 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. Harrisburg defeated No. 4 Gallaudet 96-91 in overtime of the late afternoon game to advance to Sunday's championship.
It was a total team effort for the Express, who had four different player score in double figures. Andre Sawyers (Bronx, N.Y./Mt. St. Michaels) led the Express with 18 points and six rebounds. Terry Harrison (Brooklyn, N.Y./Forest Hills) added 15 points and six rebounds, Benito Perez (Crystal City, Texas/Crystal City) finished with 14 points and Mabior Mayen (Syracuse, N.Y./Nottingham) chipped in with 12 points and nine rebounds.
NEAC Player of Year David Golembiowski led the Wildcats with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Kevin Cappiello finished with 10 points.
It was a tight game from start to finish. The Express rushed out to a quick 10-3 lead but the seven point cushion would be the largest of the game as both teams traded shots before entering halftime with the Wildcats leading 39-37.
The Wildcats extended their lead to seven early in the second half and would lead by that margin (60-53) as late as 10:34 to play. The Express took over from there. Perez hit a 3-pointer and Mayen finished two straight lay-ups, sparking Wells to a 10-2 run and a 63-62 lead with five minutes to play.
The Expess extended their lead to four (70-66) with less than a minute to play. The Wildcats pulled themselves to within one (70-69) on a 3-pointer from Julian Bostic but on the ensuing play Harrison drew a foul and subsequently hit both free-throws to extend Wells' lead to three (72-69). The Wildcats would have a chance to tie the game but Golembiowski missed a 3-pointer and Express guard Dave Foltz hit one of two free-throws with six seconds remaining to seal the victory.
The winner of tomorrow's NEAC Championship games earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men' Basketball Championship Tournament.
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February 28, 2011 MEN'S BASKETBALL DRAWS OSWEGO STATE IN FIRST ROUND
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February 27, 2011 THIRD TIME'S A CHARM: EXPRESS CLAIM NEAC CROWN
February 26, 2011 WELLS ADVANCES TO THIRD STRAIGHT NEAC CHAMPIONSHIP
February 25, 2011 PEREZ LEADS EXPRESS PAST NO. 6 SUNY COBLESKILL
February 23, 2011 HARRISON AND MAYEN NAMED NEAC FIRST-TEAM ALL-CONFERENCE
February 20, 2011 EXPRESS LOCK UP NO. 3 SEED WITH VICTORY OVER GALLAUDET
February 19, 2011 HARRISBURG HOLDS ON, TOPS EXPRESS
February 16, 2011 HARRISON EARNS SECOND-STRAIGHT NEAC WEEKLY AWARD
February 13, 2011 EXPRESS CRUISE PAST NITTANY LIONS
February 12, 2011 DOMINANT SECOND HALF LEADS WELLS PAST ABINGTON
February 9, 2011 MORRISVILLE PULLS AWAY LATE, DEFEATS EXPRESS
February 5, 2011 EXPRESS HOLD ON FOR EIGHTH STRAIGHT VICTORY
February 3, 2011 STRONG SECOND HALF BY PEREZ LEADS EXPRESS PAST FIGHTING TIGERS
January 29, 2011 EXPRESS DOMINATE STORM, CRUISE TO SIXTH STRAIGHT
January 25, 2011 HARRISON EARNS THIRD NEAC STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK AWARD
January 25, 2011 HARRISON EARNS NEAC STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK HONORS
January 22, 2011 MAYEN AND HARRISON LEAD EXPRESS PAST CAZENOVIA
January 20, 2011 EXPRESS ROUT SAXONS 80-53
January 18, 2011 EXPRESS BATTLE BACK FOR THIRD STRAIGHT VICTORY
January 16, 2011 BALANCED ATTACKED FUELS EXPRESS PAST NITTANY LIONS
January 15, 2011 MAYEN'S 33-POINTS LEADS EXPRESS PAST NITTANY LIONS
January 12, 2011 FIRST HALF PROPELS WILDCATS PAST EXPRESS
January 3, 2011 MONARCHS LATE RALLY SINKS EXPRESS
January 2, 2011 ONEONTA DEFEATS MEN'S BASKETBALL
December 7, 2010 MEN’S BASKETBALL CRUISES TO VICTORY OVER KEUKA
December 5, 2010 MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS TO NITTANY LIONS
December 4, 2010 BISON HOLD OFF EXPRESS FOR VICTORY
December 1, 2010 EXPRESS ROUT WILDCATS IN NEAC VICTORY
November 29, 2010 HARRISON NAMED NEAC STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
November 27, 2010 CLICK LEADS HAMILTON TO VICTORY OVER WELLS
November 23, 2010 EXPRESS OUTPLAY MUSTANGS EN ROUTE TO 23-POINT VICTORY
November 20, 2010 FARMINGTON HANGS ON TO DEFEAT WELLS
November 19, 2010 SPARTANS LATE RUN SINKS EXPRESS AT KEN WRIGHT INVITATIONAL
November 15, 2010 MAYEN’S 21 POINTS NOT ENOUGH TO LEAD EXPRESS PAST HARTWICK
September 23, 2010 BULLOCK FITTING IN AT NEXT LEVEL