AURORA, N.Y. – Despite a one point lead with seven seconds remaining in the game, the Wells College men's basketball team posted an 80-79 loss to the Nittany Lions of Penn St.-Abington on Sunday within the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With the loss, the Express fall to 8-12 on the year and to 7-6 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The victory boosts the Nittany Lions to 11-7 on the year and to 8-3 in league play.
Senior Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led all Wells players with 22 total points, a season-high mark. Junior Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.) pulled down a team-best seven rebounds and added 14 points, ranking second on the squad. Senior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) scored 13 points for Wells while adding three assists. Freshman Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) led all players with five assists while Hurtado added two takeaways for the Express.
Following an Avery Barnes layup with 24 seconds left in regulation time, the Express trailed by a 78-77 margin. Courtney, however, countered with a layup to place Wells up by a 79-78 margin with only seven seconds remaining. Following a timeout by the Nittany Lions, the ball was inbounded but a Wells foul sent Devin Jones to the line to bury back-to-back foul shots, elevating the visitors to an 80-79 lead. The Abington defense was able to prevent any further scoring in the tilt's final six seconds to hold on for the victory.
Barnes slammed home a dunk with 3:48 remaining in the first half, placing Penn St.-Abington up by a 35-26 margin, a game-high nine point lead for the Nittany Lions. Wells, however, saw back-to-back three point baskets from senior Erich Kaempffe (North Rose, N.Y.) to cut the score to three in just over one minute. Jean converted a three-point play after being fouled on a layup, bringing Wells back to a 35-34 margin. Max Alton recreated a two point lead with two successful free throws to wrap up the first half scoring.
A Jonathan Bonds (Chicago, Ill.) lifted Wells to a nine point lead, 61-52, with 10:12 left in regulation time. Cumulatively in the second half, the Express outshot the Nittany Lions by a 63% to 50% margin while converting 17-of-27 shots from the floor. Wells even held the advantage in foul shooting, burying 10-of-12 as opposed to the Nittany Lions' 15-for-21 mark.
Leading by eight, however, with 7:06 left in regulation time, the Express allowed seven-straight points to make things interesting in the contest. Both teams kept the other at arm's length down the stretch, setting up the final minute dramatics.
Penn St.-Abington was led by Mike Marvin's 23 total points. Alton chipped in 20 points while Barnes racked up a double-double with 19 total points alongside 13 total rebounds. Nisiar Smith and Barnes each posted three assists for the visitors.
The Express return to action Tuesday, Feb. 4 as they travel to SUNY Cobleskill to partake in a 5:00 p.m. league contest.