MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Wells College men's basketball team dropped an 83-65 decision to the Mustangs of Morrisville State College on Wednesday. With the loss, the Express fall to 8-16 overall on the season and to 7-10 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The Mustangs boost their overall record to 15-8 overall on the season and to 11-5 within the league.
Senior Al Paul (Elmont, N.Y.) led all Wells players with 17 total points in the game. He also pulled down a team-best five rebounds in the losing effort. His classmate, Jonathan Hurtado (Brooklyn, N.Y.), posted 13 total points to rank second amongst Express players while junior Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) was third with 12 points and a team-best two three-point baskets.
The Express briefly possessed a 13-12 lead in the first half following a three-point basket by Simmons. Wells, however, allowed 14 of the game's next 19 points to the host Mustangs as Morrisville State captured a 27-18 lead following a three-pointer by Anthony Betances.
Following a layup by junior Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.) with 4:45 left in the first half, the Mustangs led by a 35-24 margin. Morrisville State went on an extended run, scoring seven-straight points to create a 42-24 lead with 2:23 left in the first half. The Express mustered two additional points throughout the remainder of first half play, trailing by a 45-26 margin entering the locker room.
The Express actually outscored the Mustangs in the second half of play, 39-to-38, but the first half deficit proved insurmountable for Wells. The Express poured home four three-point baskets in the second half alone, cutting into the deficit, while outshooting the hosts (53.8%-to-46.7%).
Forward Tom Wilk led all players for Morrisville State, scoring 19 total points after shooting 9-for-13 from the floor in the game. Kucjok Ater was second, scoring 14 points via a team-high 6-for-9 performance from the charity stripe. Jordan Prior, with 13 points, ranked third and also assisted a team-best six baskets.
The Express return to action this Saturday, Feb. 22 as they host the Storm of Keuka College at 1:00 p.m. Prior to the game, the Express will honor and recognize their three graduating senior student-athletes, including Hurtado, Paul and Jonathan Bonds (Chicago, Ill.). Live Statistics and Live Video are available by visiting the Wells College Athletics website (http://www.wells-express.com).