AURORA, N.Y. – The Wells College men's basketball team dropped a 66-62 contest to the Chargers of Lancaster Bible College Friday evening at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the loss, Wells falls to 4-9 overall and to 3-3 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The win boosts the visiting Chargers to a 6-5 overall record alongside an unblemished mark in league play (5-0).
Junior J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) and senior Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) tied for the team lead with 13 points apiece while the latter pulled down a team-best seven rebounds. Junior Jordan Bishop (Arlington, Texas) poured home 10 points off of the bench for Wells, bombing two three-pointers and adding two foul shots in the contest. Senior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) scored 11 points in 23 minutes while chipping in with five rebounds.
A Bishop three-point basket elevated the host Express to a 24-19 lead with 4:24 remaining in the first half, but the Chargers rallied back with a three-pointer by Naheer Mirza to counter the Wells offensive. After a layup by freshman James Feocco (Auburn, N.Y.), the Chargers rallied off three-straight points in the waning minutes to create a one point deficit, 26-25 Wells, with 1:19 remaining in the stanza. The Express eventually created a 29-27 halftime lead and carried it into the second half.
A three-pointer by junior Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) created an eight point Wells lead with 13:22 left in the second half, but Wells was unable to hold on to their game-high lead over Lancaster Bible. Mirza countered the Wells "three" with one of his own to start a Chargers rally, eventually tying the score at 48 aside with 8:18 left in regulation time.
With the Express frozen at 48 points from 9:21 left in the half to the five minute mark, the Chargers rallied to score the game's next 11 points to create a lead that proved to be insurmountable to the Express. Wells possessed the ball in the game's last 12 minutes, but a turnover on an inbounds play ultimately secured the victory for the Chargers.
C.J. Dunston led all players with 20 points for Lancaster Bible with Albert Suniga ranking second with 19 points. Mirza was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor, including three baskets from beyond the arc, for 13 total points and a team-leading four assists. In the second half, Lancaster Bible sealed the game by shooting an outstanding 15-for-22 from the field (68.2%).
The Express return to action this Saturday, Jan. 18 as they host the Nittany Lions of Penn St.-Berks in a 1:00 p.m. contest at the Farenthold Athletic Wing.