(Aurora, N.Y.)─ Terry Harrison (Brooklyn, N.Y./Forest Hills) scored with 22-seconds remaining and the Wells defense held over the final seconds as the Express went on to defeat the SUNY IT Wildcats 86-84 in North Eastern Athletic Conference men's basketball action Saturday afternoon in Aurora. Harrison finished with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals to lead the Express. David Golembiowski (Barneveld, N.Y./Holland Patent) paced the Wildcats with 29 points and 15 rebounds. The Express (11-9, 10-3 NEAC) have now won eight straight games, including seven straight in the NEAC. The loss drops the Wildcats to 11-10 (10-5 NEAC).
Mabior Mayen (Syracuse, N.Y./Nottingham) notched a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Dave Foltz (Auburn, N.Y./Auburn) was a perfect 6 of 6 from the floor, finishing with 17 points, while Terrance Wright (Rochester, N.Y./Irondequoit) added nine points to round-out the scoring for the Express.
Justin Brignola (Clifton Park, N.Y.) finished with a game high 30 points and Calvin Logins (Lyons, N.Y.) added 22 points and five rebounds for the Wildcats.
Both teams shot exceptionally well. The Wildcats were an impressive 53.1 percent from the field, 6 of 14 from behind the arc, and 10 of 17 from the charity stripe. The Express shot 45.3 percent from the floor, including 8 of 16 from behind the arc, and finished 20 of 31 from the free-throw line.
The Express came out red hot. Harrison hit a lay-up to start things and 3-pointers by Wright, Benito Perez (Crystal City, Texas/Crystal City), and Foltz propelled Wells to quick 22-6 lead with 14:51 to play. The Express continued dominate the Wildcats, extending their lead to as many as 22 points in the half. SUNY IT had little to answer the Wells onslaught as they would enter the break trailing the Express 56-36.
Foltz finished the first half with 14 points, including 3 of 3 from behind the arc. Harrison had an equally impressive half, finishing with 17 points, including two thunderous dunks.
Wells came out in the second half and quickly extended their lead to 24 points (62-38) but the Wildcats began chipping away at the lead. A 3-pointer by Brignola and two jumpers from Golembiowski had cut the lead to 12 (65-53). Meanwhile, the Express hot shooting in the first half had disappeared as they would go nearly nine minutes without a field goal. The Wildcats continued to stay hot from the floor as they would go 7 of 9 over a four minute stretch, highlighted by two straight 3-pointers from Brignola, cutting the lead to two (77-75) with 4:12 to play.
After trailing the entire game, the Wildcats tied the game up on a free-throw by Logins and just 30-seconds later Derek Rowe hit one of two free-throws to give SUNY IT their first lead of the game, 84-83, with 35-seconds to play.
Down but not out, the Express called a quick timeout, and on the ensuing play Harrison drove to the hole and finished a lay-up to give Wells an 85-84 lead with 22-seconds to play. The Wildcats would be unable to convert on the next play as the Express defense would cause a tie-up in the paint with 4-seconds remaining and, with the arrow pointing in the Wells direction; the Express took possession, sealing the thrilling victory. Despite the close game, the Wildcats led a total of just 13-seconds.
The Express return to action on Wednesday evening against NEAC opponent SUNY Morrisville with the game set to tip at 7 p.m. in Morrisville.