AURORA, N.Y. – Paced by junior E.J. Taylor (Tampa Bay, Fla.) and freshman Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the Wells College men's basketball team posted a 92-82 victory over the Giants of Keystone College Tuesday evening at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the victory, the Express improve to 2-1 overall on the season while the Giants fall to 1-2 on the year following the non-conference defeat.
With the score deadlocked at 17-17 with 13:04 remaining in the first half, the Giants went on a seven point run, highlighted by a Tim Benedix three pointer and a Duncan Lunsford layup to create a seven point lead. Following two missed shots by the Express, a free throw by Alex Smith created an eight point deficit for the home team to climb out of.
A successful layup by Jonathan Bonds (Chicago, Ill.) and a three pointer by Jordan Bishop (Arlington, Texas) brought the Express back to within three points. The see-saw battle would continue, with the Giants coming back to stake a nine point advantage with only 5:31 remaining in the first half. With the score at 35-26 in favor of the visiting team, the Express rattled off the game's next five points via three foul shots and a jumper by Bishop to bring the score to 35-31 Keystone.
Staked to a six point advantage with just under two minutes remaining in the first half, the Express mounted a comeback to cut the halftime deficit to one point. A Bishop three pointer preceded a layup by Hurtado. Continuing his free throw dominance, Bishop buried all two of his foul shots to grant the Express a one point lead with 1:01 remaining in the first. An ill-advised Express foul with only three seconds left granted Lunsford an opportunity to sink both shots from the charity stripe to capture a one point lead.
Trading points early in the second half, the Giants retook a five point lead via a Greg Westry three pointer at 14:47. The tides turned following a Ryan Hood (Massillon, Ohio) dunk at 14:18 in the second half, as both J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) and Hurtado recorded layups to bring the score to 56-55 Keystone.
Following more back and forth action, the Express led by only one point with 9:10 remaining in regulation time following two successful free throws by Miles Dargan. Hurtado went on to score eight of his team's next eight points, staking the Express to an eight point lead with 7:24 remaining in regulation. Just over one minute later, a Hood three pointer lifted the Express to a 74-66 lead, a spread of eight points. From that point in the game, the Express did not relinquish a lead greater than eight points and secured their first home victory of the season.
Taylor and Hurtado both wrapped up their evening with 21 points to their credit, with Taylor making five field goals and burying nine free throws. Hurtado was 9-for-17 on field goals, leading the team in two point baskets. Bishop went a team-best 3-for-4 from three point range and was a perfect 7-for-7 in free throws, becoming the second player this season to remain perfect from the charity stripe. Bishop also led the way with seven assists and three steals. Hood chipped in with 11 boards and nine points, including eight defensive rebounds.
Keystone saw a 23 point evening from Lunsford off of the bench, as he posted seven field goals, seven free throws and a team best 2-for-4 performance from beyond the three point arc. Four other players recorded 10 or more points for the Giants, including Westry and Dan Candemeres, who each posted a 5-for-8 line in field goals.
The Express posted 26 points off of turnovers and converted 24 second chance points. The Keystone bench was responsible for 29 of their 82 points as opposed to only 17 of the home team's 92 points.
Wells College hits the road this Sunday, Nov. 25 as they face-off against Hartwick College in a 3:00 p.m. contest. Stay up to date with the latest news directly from the Wells College athletic department by "liking" us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WellsExpress) and subscribing to our Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/WellsExpress).