AURORA, N.Y. – The Wells College women's basketball team pulled within four points late in the second half but would be unable to complete the comeback as the Morrisville State Mustangs held on for the 61-52 victory in North Eastern Athletic Conference action Tuesday evening in Aurora. With the loss the Express fall to 6-15 (4-9 NEAC), while the Mustangs improve to 8-13 (7-7 NEAC).
The NEAC Co-Player of the Week and the NCAA Division III leader in rebounds Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.) did not disappoint for the Express, finishing with game highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five blocks and four assists. Jordan Peterson (Hamilton, N.Y.) added nine points and Jessilyn Aki (Kappaa, Hawaii) added seven points, five steals and four assists to round out the highlights for Wells.
Down 43-32 mid-way through the second half, buckets by Peterson and Kristen Ryan (Syracuse, N.Y.) led to a 7-0 run, cutting the lead to four (43-39) with 8:15 to play. The Mustangs responded with six straight points to extend their lead back to six, but a Brittany White (Lewiston, N.Y.) lay-up and two free-throws by Roser kept the Express in striking distance down 49-43 with 5:29 to play.
However, five straight points by Jennel Paul (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and a 3-pointer and lay-up by Dyshea Smiley (Harlem, N.Y.) gave the Mustangs a commanding 58-45 lead. Wells cut the deficit to eight (58-51) on a 6-0 run, capped by a Peterson jumper with 51 seconds remaining, but clutch free-throw shooting allowed the Mustangs to run out the clock and hold on to the victory.
Smiley led four different Mustangs in double figures with 14 points and five assists. Paul and Nijah Towsend (Bronx, N.Y.) each added 12 points, while Tierra Hollins-Hill (Bronx, N.Y.) finished with 11 points.
Wells shot 28.6 percent from the floor, including a lowly 1-11 from behind the arc, while finishing a strong 19-24 from the free-throw line. The Mustangs shots 52.2 percent from the floor, 5-10 from beyond the arc, and 8-16 from the foul line, while holding a 38-31 advantage on the glass.
The Express return to action Thursday against Wilson College with the tip-off set for 6 p.m. in Aurora.