AURORA, N.Y. – Despite a five point lead at halftime, the Wells College men's basketball team posted a 59-56 loss to the Bison of Gallaudet University Sunday afternoon at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. The loss drops Wells to 6-9 overall and to 2-3 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The victory boosts the Bison to 8-9 overall and to 4-3 in league play.
The Express have lost three contests at home this season, tying the all-time record for losses within the Farenthold Athletic Wing. Additionally, their three conference losses are only two away from tying the all-time record for defeats against league opponents. The Express also fall to 2-2 all-time against Gallaudet with the loss this afternoon.
The Bison built up a 9-2 lead within the game's first two-plus minutes, utilizing seven early points from Danny Kelly to bolster the lead. The Express, however, scored the game's next seven points to bring the score to nine aside with 14:14 remaining in the first half.
With the score evened at 16-16 with 10:54 remaining in the first stanza following a Ben Coleman three point conversion, the Express opened up a game high eight point cushion. Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored four of the eight points, while Kenneth Boddie (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Jonathan Bonds (Chicago, Ill.) added two point baskets of their own in support of the team.
Bonds granted the Express a five point lead in the half's waning seconds, forcing home an E.J. Taylor (Tampa Bay, Fla.) missed three pointer as time expired. In total, Bonds led the team in the first half with eight points with Hurtado trailing with six of his own. Defensively, Bonds also recorded a team-best three total rebounds, all of which coming in the offensive zone for the Express.
Despite the halftime advantage, the Bison rebounded to tie the score at 35 aside, capped off by a Layton Seeber three point shot only 1:49 into the second half. The Express went on another eight point run, using two point baskets from Jordan Bishop (Arlington, Texas), Ryan Hood (Massillon, Ohio), Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) and Bonds to secure an additional eight point lead.
The Express, however, allowed the Bison back into the game, with the score eventually knotted at nine apiece with 4:41 remaining in regulation time. Both teams were held scoreless across the next two-plus muntes. Ben Coleman of the Bison capitalized on a Taylor foul, burying both free throws. Kelly followed with a 1-for-2 performance from the field following a J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) foul to capture a three point lead with 2:01 remaining.
Paul cut the deficit to one, 57-56, with 51 seconds remaining, but Walton's third foul of the game on a Seeber layup attempt with only two seconds left on the shot clock created a three point deficit for the Express to overcome. With 15 seconds remaining and the Express trailing by three, a designed play failed to tie the score to force overtime as a Bishop missed three point attempt with one second left missed as time expired.
For the Express, Bonds led the team with 14 points to his credit alongside a team-best eight boards. This afternoon marks the first time Bonds has led the Express in points. Hurtado ranked second on the squad, tallying a total of 12 points. Five different players recorded two steals for the Express. Paul set a career-high mark with six assists to his credit.
Gallaudet was led by Kelly, who recorded a double-double en route to his team's victory. His 25 points led the team while his 10 rebounds did as well. Seeber's 18 points ranked second on the team, while Jocus Houston posted five steals and three assists, leading the team in both categories.
Wells returns to action Wednesday, Jan. 16 as they face-off against the Storm of Keuka College in an 8:00 p.m. showdown. 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).