AURORA, N.Y. – Despite four players from the Express reaching double-digit point totals, the Wells College men's basketball team posted an 81-70 loss to the Mustangs of Morrisville State College on Tuesday. With the loss, Wells falls to 7-11 overall on the year and to 6-6 within North Eastern Athletic Conference play. The win boosts the Mustangs to 10-6 overall and to 7-3 within league play.
Senior Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the way with 19 points, shooting 8-for-16 from the floor and adding a three-pointer for the Express. Junior J.J. Walton (Ocala, Fla.) ranked second on the team with 12 points, posting a team-leading five assists. Freshman Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) racked up 11 total points and senior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) added 10 points for the Express.
Morrisville State never trailed in the game, jumping out to a nine point lead with just over five minutes expired in the first half. A three-point basket by Morrisville's Jordan Prior preceded a layup by Tom Wilk, creating a 16-7 lead for the visitors with 14:24 left in the first half. Wells cut the deficit to 34-25 with 6:47 left following a Courtney three-point basket, but Morrisville scored the game's next eight points to create a game-high 17 point lead, 42-25, with only 3:36 left in the first stanza.
Wells mounted a furious comeback in the second half, cutting the Mustangs lead to only six points with a Walton layup with 12:47 left in regulation time. However, Morrisville immediately countered with a three-pointer by Brandon Hanks with 11:57 left and a Wells technical sent the Mustangs to the line. Prior converted both technical shots to recreate a nine point lead.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Hanks clinched the game for the Mustangs as the dagger came with 7:26 remaining in regulation time, creating a 14 point lead for Morrisville. The Mustangs never trailed by a single digit spread for the remainder of the contest.
Prior led the way with 26 points for Morrisville, shooting 8-for-12 from the floor and 5-for-9 from distance. Hanks added eight assists for Morrisville and 13 points after bombing four three-point baskets. As a team, the Mustangs shot 61.2% (30-for-49) and converted 9-of-17 shots from beyond the arc.
The Express return to action this Saturday, Feb. 1 as they host the Bison of Gallaudet University in a 1:00 p.m. contest. Throughout the day, Wells will be hosting their first-ever Athletic Open House, a day dedicated to prospective student-athletes and their families. For more information, visit http://www.wells-express.com/openhouse.