COBLESKILL, N.Y. – Despite a potent 10-for-20 performance from beyond the arc, the Wells College men's basketball team posted a tough 85-78 loss to SUNY Cobleskill Friday evening at the Iorio Gymnasium. Wells, battling for a playoff spot, falls to 7-17 overall and to 7-9 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The division-leading Fighting Tigers improve to 14-10 and to 12-4 within the conference.
The 50% shooting mark from three-point range marks only the fourth time in team history that the Express have converted at least half of their long-distance attempts. Senior EZ Garcia (Cotulla, Texas) set a career-high mark with five three-point field goals made, scoring a personal-best 21 points. Sophomore Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) scored 19 points and posted a team-leading seven rebounds and three steals.
Garcia staked the Express to a 9-5 lead through the game's first 3:51, pouring in three long-range field goals to single-handedly elevate his team during that stretch. Courtney added back-to-back treys for the Express, building a 15-11 lead for Wells – the first five field goals for Wells were three-point makes.
Another Garcia three-point basket with 10:41 left in the opening half created a 23-19 lead, but a 7-0 run by SUNY Cobleskill lifted the hosts to a 26-23 lead with 8:15 left. In the half's final 1:45, Wells took the halftime lead after three free throws by freshman Jared Alexander (Adelphi, Md.) were scored between a Garcia layup en route to a 40-35 lead.
Mike Chapman opened the second half with back-to-back free throws before Courtney recreated a five-point lead, 42-37, with a jumper with only 54 seconds elapsed in the frame. Brian Jackson immediately followed with back-to-back three's to elevate the Fighting Tigers to a 43-42 lead. Despite back-to-back foul shot makes by senior Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.), a 14-to-5 run by SUNY Cobleskill gave the hosts complete control of the game.
A Kemar Hemmings layup with 2:30 left in regulation time put the Fighting Tigers up by a game-high 18 points, 79-61. A jumper by sophomore Darius Smith (Lanham, Md.) as time expired set the final score at 85-78 in favor of SUNY Cobleskill.
Four players reached double-digit scoring for the Fighting Tigers, including Alexis Nunez with 15 total points. Bryan Backus scored only two points for SUNY Cobleskill, but his seven assists led players from both teams. Wells committed 17 turnovers in the game while being outrebounded 36-to-32.
The Express conclude the regular season with a 3 p.m. contest against the SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy, N.Y. Saturday afternoon.