UTICA, N.Y. – Despite outscoring the home team during the second half, the Wells College women's basketball team dropped a 73-51 decision to the Pioneers of Utica College Thursday evening. With the loss, the Express fall to 1-4 overall on the season while the Pioneers improve to 3-2 on the year following the non-conference tilt.
The Pioneers dominated the entire first half of play, racking up a 21-0 lead on the Express with 13:47 remaining in the first half. Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.) was able to record the first Wells points of the game with 13:11 remaining in the stanza, cutting the deficit to 19 points. However, the Pioneers were relentless in their offensive attack, establishing a 28 point lead with 9:43 remaining in the first half following a Samantha Stayer layup. Layups from Brittany White (Lewiston, N.Y.) and Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) sandwiched a Meghan Fiore layup to place the score at 32-6, a 26 point deficit, with 8:14 remaining in the stanza.
With the Express stuck at six points, the Pioneers recorded their largest lead of the evening with 2:56 remaining in the first half. Following a foul committed by Cassie Smythe (Eden, N.Y.), Marissa Kahane buried a free throw to set the score at 44-6. From that point forward, however, the Express outscored the host Pioneers by a 12-to-2 margin. A layup from junior Theresa Hernandez (Dewitt, N.Y.) preceded two successful free throws to add a quick four points. From there, Smythe and Erkson each buried three point attempts while White and junior Theresa Hernandez converted all four of their combined free throws to close out the half.
The Express rebounded in the second half with strong offensive play, outscoring their opponent 31-27 to conclude the contest. Roser rebounded in the second half to convert 5-of-7 attempts from the field while also converting all six of her free throws. Additionally, Lindsay Achzet (Johnstown, N.Y.) was able to force home her two free throw attempts as the Express were 8-for-8 from the charity stripe in the second half.
Cumulative, Roser recorded double-digit point and rebound totals, posting 18 and 16, respectively, to lead the team in both categories. Her four steals also led the team, as did her six free throws and six field goals. Hernandez, Erkson and Smythe each chipped in with two assists. Off the bench, Brooke Benedetto (Williamstown, N.Y.) posted four points in eight minutes. Freshman Jessica Bye (Jordan, N.Y.) was able to pull down four boards in only four minutes of action, adding her second block in three games.
For Utica, Stayer led the team with 23 points off of the bench while Kahane and Bridget Greenwald each reached double-digit point totals. Greenwald tallied 13 rebounds and four steals, leading the team in both categories. The Pioneers buried 83% of their free throws and shot 40.8% from the field in the game.
The Express return to action Sunday, Dec. 2 as they host the Kangaroos of SUNY Canton in a 1:00 p.m. contest at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. Stay up to date with the latest news directly from the Wells College athletic department by "liking" us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WellsExpress) and subscribing to our Twitter account (http://www.twitter.com/WellsExpress).