AURORA, N.Y. – Despite pulling to within two points mid-way through the second half the Wells College women's basketball team would be unable to find a way past SUNY IT as the Wildcats held on for a 59-52 victory in North Eastern Athletic Conference action Sunday afternoon in Aurora. The loss drops the Express to 8-16 (6-10 NEAC) while the Wildcats improve to 18-4 (12-2 NEAC).


Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.) led the Express with 15 points and 10 rebounds, Jessilyn Aki (Kappaa, Hawaii) added 15 points and four assists and Kristen Ryan (Syracuse, N.Y.) finished with 10 points.


Sarah Couvillon (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) paced the Wildcats with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Lyndsey Brognano (Rome, N.Y.) added 18 points and Nailah Cherry (Roosevelt, N.Y.) chipped in with 13 rebounds to go along with four points for SUNY IT.


The Wildcats opened with a 5-0 run and would later extend their lead to eight (14-6) on a Brognano 3-pointer mid-way through the first. The Express battled back to within two with a 9-3 run and would trail by as many (19-17) with 1:15 to go before the break, but a 6-2 run by SUNY IT, including three by Abbey Hanehan (Stillwater, N.Y.) as time expired gave the Wildcats a 25-19 lead at the break.


The Wildcats extended their lead to nine early in the second half but, a lay-up by Rachel Mattraw (Chaumont, N.Y.), a triple from Ryan, and a jumper by Roser cut the lead to two (40-38) mid-way through the second half.


Just as it looked as though the Express had the Wildcats on their heels,  Couvillon hit a lay-up sparking a 15-1 run to extend SUNY IT's lead to 16 (55-39) with less than five minutes to play.


Despite the deficit, the Express mounted a furious rally. Kelli Furney (Camden, N.Y.) hit a jumper and two free-throws by Jordan Peterson (Hamilton, N.Y.) along with a lay-up by Mattraw cut the lead to 12 (57-45).  After a two good foul shots by Couvillon put the Wildcats back ahead by 14, Aki hit one of two free-throws, finished a lay-up off a steal by Ryan and then finished an old fashion three point play to cut the lead to seven (59-52) with 13-seconds remaining. However, time would run out on the Express momentum swing as the Wildcats defense settled down and held off Wells to clinch the conference victory.


The Express finished 30 percent from field and were steadily outrebounded 58-33 by the Wildcats.


Wells will close out their season next Saturday when they take on NEAC opponent Keuka College at 3 p.m. in Keuka Park, N.Y.