BROCKPORT, N.Y. – The Wells College men's basketball team secured a 74-63 victory over the Kangaroos of SUNY Canton Saturday evening to open play in the SUNY Brockport Holiday Invitational at Vlogianitis Gymnasium. With the victory, the Express even their overall record at 5-5 while the Kangaroos drop to 2-7 overall following the non-conference tilt.
Following four lead changes within the game's first 6:47, the Express captured the lead for good. With the score set at 9-8 with 13:31 remaining in the half, a jumper by Ryan Hood (Massillon, Ohio) keyed an 11-3 Wells run that was capped off by a Hood three pointer with 10:39 remaining in the first half. With the Kangaroos creeping back to cut the deficit to two points following a Khalid Vaughn free throw at 7:09, the Express rattled off eight points in 1:19 to recapture a 10 point lead.
With a 44-36 lead entering the second half, the Express opened with a 23-10 run to set the score at 67-46. From 12:34 to 8:13, the Express held their opponent off the scoreboard as sophomore Salvatore Fabozzi (Staten Island, N.Y.) and freshman Jordan Bishop (Arlington, Texas) each poured in three point baskets while sophomore Tyler Walker (Spencer, N.Y.) forced home two layups to add insurance.
SUNY Canton would not go quietly, however, holding the Express to only seven points in the game's final 8:06. Outscored 17-7 during that time frame, the Kangaroos were 9-of-10 from the free throw line in their efforts to mount a comeback.
Cumulatively on the afternoon, junior Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the way with 18 total points to his credit. Hurtado was 6-for-9 in field goals and buried a team-best five shots from the charity stripe. Hood ranked second in cumulative points in the game, burying a team-best 2-of-3 shots from beyond the perimeter while tying for the team lead with three steals. Sophomore J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) and Bishop each posted 10 points, with Walton recording three steals alongside a team-best eight boards and Bishop collecting four assists and two three pointers. In total, four different Express players reached double-digit point totals in the game.
SUNY Canton also saw 10-plus point performances from four different players. Both Vaughn and Xzavier Fisher led the way with 16 points, with the latter recording a team-best eight field goals and seven rebounds. For the game, the Express shot 44.4% from the floor with SUNY Canton countering by shooting at a 37.1% clip.
Tonight's game featured 51 rebounds by the Express, a season high and the second-highest rebounding total against a non-conference opponent (52 vs. Mt. St. Vincent, Nov. 22, 2008). Wells College also improves to 2-0 on the year in neutral site contests.
The Express will face-off against the winner of Saturday evening's tilt featuring the Golden Eagles of the University of Brockport and the Panthers of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on Sunday, Dec. 30 at 2:00 p.m. 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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