AURORA, N.Y. – Four different members of the Wells College men's basketball team reached double-digit point scoring in Saturday's 77-70 victory over the Cazenovia College Wildcats. With the win, Wells moves to 5-14 overall on the year (5-6 NEAC) while the Wildcats dip to 7-11 (5-5 NEAC).
Senior Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) scored 17 points for Wells while sophomore Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) tallied 16. Senior Joe Walton (Ocala, Fla.) added 15 points of his own while classmate EZ Garcia (Cotulla, Texas) was 7-for-10 from the free throw line, scoring 13 points while adding a team-best five assists.
The Express held Cazenovia scoreless through the game's first 4:41, scoring six-straight points. Wells opened up a game-high nine point lead following a Garcia layup in the paint with 12:46 remaining in the first half, leading 13-4. A Wildcats rally with 2:25 remaining in the half was silenced with a Simmons three-point basket with 1:57 on the clock, reestablishing an eight point lead down the stretch.
Cazenovia, who did not lead in Saturday's game at any point, tied the game at 41 following a Ryan Gavin layup but Simmons immediately countered with a trey with 12:44 left in regulation time. The Express allowed a Gavin jumper with 3:30 left to cut the score to 62-61, but the Express saw two jumpers from Simmons that preceded back-to-back free throws by sophomore James Feocco (Auburn, N.Y.) to create insurance against another Wildcats comeback.
With 31 seconds left, Wells buried all six of their free throw chances while increasing the final score to 77-70. Wells outshot the Wildcats by a 46.2%-to-42.9% margin in the second half alone and buried 16-of-22 foul shots.
Gavin posted a double-double for Cazenovia, scoring 22 points while adding 10 rebounds. Malik Adair-Mountain scored 15 points while Brad LeFevre added 10 points. Collectively, the Wildcats shot an impressive 18-for-23 from the foul line but only posted two long-distance field goals in 10 total shots.
Wells returns to action Sunday, Feb. 8 as they travel to Washington, D.C. to play the Bison of Gallaudet University at 3 p.m.