ITHACA, N.Y. – The Wells College men's basketball team posted a 72-56 loss to the Bombers of Ithaca College Thursday evening at the Ben Light Gymnasium. With the loss, Wells dips to 1-7 while the host Bombers improve to 2-5 on the year. The Bombers now boast a three-game winning streak against Wells after an Express victory in the first-ever meeting on Dec. 30, 2011.
In the contest, Wells outshot Ithaca by the slimmest of margins (43.1%-to-42.4%) but the Bombers converted nine three-point baskets in 22 opportunities while the Express converted only seven shots in the same amount of attempts. Ithaca held the 39-to-31 advantage on the glass and the decisive 18-to-4 advantage in second chance points.
Wells was led by senior Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.) and his team-best 14 points on offense. Classmate Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) narrowly missed a double-double, scoring 10 points while coming down with eight rebounds. Freshman Jordyn Tyler (Richmond, Va.) came off the bench late in the contest and chipped in three field goals from distance, scoring nine total points in only 10 minutes of action.
Despite opening up a 6-0 lead within the game's first four minutes, the Express allowed six-straight points to erase their early lead. Trailing by a 29-19 score with 4:44 left in the first half, the Express bombed back-to-back three-pointers to set the score at 32-25 and a late layup by sophomore Darius Smith (Lanham, Md.) cut into the hosts lead at halftime.
Trailing 33-27, the Express were outshot by the Bombers in the second half and committed eight turnovers in the final 20 minutes alone. Ithaca shot 52% (13-for-25) and hit four shots from distance while outrebounding the Express. Ultimately, back-to-back three's by Ithaca doomed any chance of a comeback as Keefe Gitto and Carroll Rich elevated the hosts to a 53-39 score and kept Wells at arm's length down the stretch.
Max Masucci and Carlin Champion each posted 12 points for Ithaca with the latter pouring home four three's. Gitto led players from both teams with a whopping 19 rebounds while scoring a team-best 16 points.
For the first time in program history, the Express will travel out West to take on two schools from the state of Washington. Wells will face-off against Whitman on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. in Walla Walla, Wash. before taking on Whitworth the next day in Spokane, Wash.