For the first time in program history, the Wells College women's basketball team has advanced to the North Eastern Athletic Conference Women's Basketball Semifinals to be played this Saturday, Feb. 23 on the campus of Lancaster Bible College at 2:00 p.m. With an 82-80 victory over the Wildcats of SUNY Institute of Technology this past Tuesday, the Express collected their first postseason win in their three year program history.
ROSER JUST IN TIME: With .1 seconds remaining in the game against SUNYIT, junior Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.) was fouled and buried both free throws prior to time expiring to secure the victory. Trailing by four points, 80-76, with 53 seconds remaining, the Express had pulled off a comeback for the ages. Following an Emily Alicea foul, freshman Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) went to the line and buried both foul shots to cut the deficit to two.
Sophomore Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kapaa, Hawaii) struck next for the Express, burying a jumper following a Wildcats turnover to knot the score at 80 apiece. Following a Lyndsay Brognano turnover later in the sequence, junior Kristen Ryan (Syracuse, N.Y.) laid the ball up but it kicked off the rim and fell onto the hands of Roser. For SUNYIT, Ashley Schmidt was called for a foul on Roser, sending her to the line with minimal time on the clock. Roser was able to bury both free throws while securing the program's first ever postseason victory.
With 13 made field goals in the contest, Roser set the all-time single-game program record while her 36 points rank her second all-time in single game program history.
LAST TIME OUT vs. LANCASTER BIBLE: The Wells College women's basketball team posted a 58-49 loss to the Chargers of Lancaster Bible College on Saturday, Jan. 5 of this year. At the time, the Express had lost only their first NEAC contest of the season.
Despite a 49-45 lead with 5:19 remaining in regulation time following a Lindsay Achzet (Johnstown, N.Y.) jumper, the host Chargers went on a 13 point run to conclude play and overtake the Express late in the game.
In the first half, however, the Express never trailed by four points or larger in the first half as freshman Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) converted a three point shot with 15:55 remaining in the half to cut the hosts lead to one point. With 4:25 remaining in the half, the Express built up a five point lead following a jump shot and a layup from Roser to set the score at 20-15.
To conclude the first half, however, the Express committed a three point shooting foul on Brooklyn Wilson with 13 seconds remaining in the stanza. After burying the three point attempt, Wilson tied the game at 24 aside to exit first half play by making her lone foul shot. The Chargers were able to score 12 of their first half points off of Express turnovers.
Cumulatively, Roser posted her third straight double-double, posting 15 points alongside a team-leading 19 rebounds. Achzet scored 14 total points, converting a team-best six field goals. Artaho-Aki recorded a team-best three steals. For the Chargers, Aubrey Folger led the way with 19 points while Emily Lloyd recorded 12 points and 10 rebounds.
SCOUTING WELLS: The Express set program records this season in virtually all offensive categories and are tied for fourth with Lancaster Bible in average points per game (64.2)…They also rank fourth in the conference with an average of 44.7 rebounds per game…Wells ranks fifth overall in the conference with a 64.1% conversion percentage from the free throw line…Roser and Ryan each lead three of the four major conference categories entering Saturday's game, as Roser is averaging a conference-best 20.9 points per game and 16.5 rebounds per game…Ryan leads all qualifying players in the conference with a 55.7% field goal percentage…As of Feb. 17, Roser led all NCAA Division III players nationally with 22 double-doubles and 16.6 rebounds per game…Her 2.96 blocked shots per game ranks her 12th nationally while also ranking third overall with one triple-double on the season.
SCOUTING LANCASTER BIBLE: The Chargers rank first in the conference, converting 32.6% of their team three-point field goals…Lancaster Bible, as a team, is shooting 69.8% from the charity stripe…Lancaster Bible leads all NEAC schools in scoring defense and ranks 62nd nationally, allowing 52.5 points per game on average…They also sport the second-best scoring margin, a plus-10.2…The Chargers also hold their opponents to a 34.8% field goal percentage…Lauren Heliger and Folger each rank within the top-10 in conference play in points per game – Heliger ranks fourth overall (16.5 points per game) while Folger ranks seventh with 15.8 points per game…The Chargers recently defeated Valley Forge Christian by a 77-60 margin to claim the NCCAA East Region Championship…Folger and Heliger earned First Team recognition…Head Coach Doug Helsel was named Coach of the Year for his efforts…Lancaster Bible is 14-0 at home on the year.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: The Express and Chargers have played two contests against each other in their history – Lancaster Bible holds the all-time series lead, 2-0.
WHAT'S NEXT?: The winner of Saturday's game between the Express and Chargers will face-off against the winner of the Keuka vs. Penn St.-Harrisburg game. The NEAC Championship game will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24.
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