AURORA, N.Y. – The Wells College men's basketball team posted a 79-69 non-conference loss to the Yellow Jackets of Waynesburg University Tuesday afternoon at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the loss, the Express drop only their ninth game at home in program history and fall to 4-5 overall on the season. The Yellow Jackets improve to 3-7 overall following the game.
Despite accumulating a halftime lead of 35-33, the Yellow Jackets shot a blistering 53% in the second half to complete their rally while the Express converted only 12-of-31 chances from the field (38.7%). Wells enters the holiday break with two home losses, tied for the second most all-time in program history (8-2 at home in 2010-11).
The Express posted their largest lead of the first half following a Jordan Bishop (Arlington, Texas) layup, earning a six point advantage with 6:42 remaining as the score stood at 26-20. The Yellow Jackets battled back to tie the score at 33 apiece following an E.J. Coleman free throw with 2:06 remaining in the first stanza. An E.J. Taylor (Tampa Bay, Fla.) layup with 1:19 remaining in the half brought the score to 35-33 where it would stand entering the half.
Cumulatively in the first half, the Express were able to bury 12-of-14 free throw opportunities alongside a 37% field goal conversion mark while the Yellow Jackets were only 2-for-8 from the perimeter and hammered home only 11-of-31 field goal opportunities.
The tides turned early in the second half, despite Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) opening the half with a layup in the paint only six seconds in. However, Jacob Fleegle was responsible for the Yellow Jackets' next five points, including a three pointer with 18:26 remaining to capture a one point lead, 38-37. With the score deadlocked at 51 aside near the midpoint of the half, the Yellow Jackets scored the game's next 12 points to secure a commanding 12 point lead with 6:36 remaining in the half.
From that point, Waynesburg was able to keep the Express at arm's length. Wells would chip the lead down to nine points following two successful free throws by Tyler Walker (Spencerport, N.Y.), but the damage had been done as the Yellow Jackets would depart Aurora with what would eventually be a 10 point victory. 13 of Waynesburg's 46 second half points came via Express turnovers.
Taylor led the way for Wells with 22 points alongside four three-pointers to tie a season-high mark. Hurtado also reached the double-digit mark with 15 points while Salvatore Fabozzi (Staten Island, N.Y.) racked up a career-high 11 points, shooting a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. Fabozzi becomes only the seventh player in program history to accomplish a perfect free throw shooting game.
Waynesburg saw a game-high mark of 24 points from Fleegle, who hammered home 11-of-16 field goal opportunities while also burying two three point attempts. His seven rebounds also led the team in that category. Both Coleman and Jason Propst scored 14 points while Nate Labishak and Kurt Bonnet each posted three assists.
The Express return to action Saturday, Dec. 29 as they face-off against the Kangaroos of SUNY Canton in a 5:00 p.m. contest at the SUNY Brockport Invitational Tournament. 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).
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