Juniors Jumpstart Offense In 69-62 Victory Over Cazenovia

Juniors Jumpstart Offense In 69-62 Victory Over Cazenovia

CAZENOVIA, N.Y. – Junior E.J. Taylor (Tampa Bay, Fla.) set the program record for steals in one game as the Wells College men's basketball team posted a 69-62 victory over the Wildcats of Cazenovia College Wednesday evening. With the victory, the Express improve to 9-12 overall on the year while collecting their fifth North Eastern Athletic Conference victory of the year (5-6). The Wildcats drop to 5-14 overall on the year and to 1-9 within league play.

Junior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) set a career-high mark with 18 points to his credit as he was 7-of-14 from the floor in the team's victory. Classmate Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) also scored 18 points, collecting his second career double-double after scooping up a career-best 14 boards. Across his last three games, Hurtado has scored 64 points, averaging 21.3 points per game during that time frame.

Taylor posted 14 total points and recorded seven steals to set the all-time program mark in that category. Six different players had recorded six takeaways in a game, with Taylor accomplishing that feat most recently on Feb. 7, 2012 against Morrisville State College. Additionally, Taylor crossed the 500 point threshold and now stands eighth all-time in program history with 503 points to his credit.

Cazenovia built up two separate six point leads on the Express, the latest coming with only 3:23 remaining in the first half following a Brad LeFevre jumper to bring the score to 25-19 in favor of the hosts. However, the Express utilized a late Hurtado jump shot with only 33 seconds remaining in the half to take a 27-26 lead. The Wildcats went on to capture a 30-27 lead entering the half, scoring nearly half of their points (14) off of Express turnovers. Cazenovia also dominated the paint, scoring 10 points as opposed to the Express' four.

The Wildcats pounced on the Express early in the second, scoring the half's first four points. Wells was 0-for-3 as the Wildcats built up a seven point lead with 19:16 remaining in the game. The Express mounted a comeback, sparked by Paul. He scored his team's next four points, cutting the deficit to three and forcing a timeout by Cazenovia with 17:21 remaining in the contest.

Junior Jonathan Bonds (Chicago, Ill.) scored next for the Express, cutting the deficit to one, 34-33, with 16:11 remaining in the half. Meech Drayton re-extended the lead with two successful free throws, but a Taylor three-pointer was sandwiched in between jumpers from sophomore Ryan Hood (Massillon, Ohio) and Hurtado to grant the visitors a 40-36 lead with 13:53 remaining.

The Express never trailed for the remainder of the game, eventually building up a nine point lead with 12 seconds remaining after a free throw by Paul in the game's waning seconds. Wells turned the tables in the second half, converting 17 points off of Cazenovia turnovers.

DeMarcus Bernard scored a team-best 18 points, burying eight of his 14 field goals. Matt Perry posted a double-double, scoring 12 points in addition to scooping up 10 boards. Anthony Wilkerson struck for 10 points of his own while Drayton led the team with three steals.

The Express return to action Wednesday, Feb. 6 as they face-off against Morrisville State College in a 7:00 p.m. road 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).

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