CAZENOVIA, N.Y. – Powered by a 19 point performance by senior Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.), the Wells College women's basketball team posted a 75-71 victory over the Wildcats of Cazenovia College Monday evening at the Schneeweiss Athletic Complex. With the victory, Wells improves to 2-3 overall on the year while securing their first North Eastern Athletic Conference victory of the season. Cazenovia (0-5, 0-1 NEAC) has dropped their fifth-straight game to open the year.
Roser collected her 19th-straight double-double dating back to last season, securing a season-high 21 rebounds alongside a team-leading 19 points. Senior Theresa Hernandez (Dewitt, N.Y.) picked up a double-double in her second-straight game, scoring 13 points and adding 10 rebounds for Wells. Junior Cassie Smythe (Eden, N.Y.) poured home a team-leading three field goals beyond the arc.
The Express jumped out to an 18-4 first half lead through the game's first 14:27. Freshman Olivia Baum (Summerville, S.C.) bombed a three-point basket only 4:09 into the first half to place Wells up by a 14-3 margin. Jumpers by Taylor Spranger (Schenevus, N.Y.) and Hernandez followed a Kimberly Vrigian free throw shot to create the visitors' 14 point lead. Cazenovia battled back and ultimately brought the score to 35-28 following a Vrigian jumper with 36 seconds left.
Smythe hit a clutch three-point basket with only 17 seconds remaining on the first half clock, placing Wells up by 10 points, 38-28, entering halftime. In the first half alone, Roser had 15 rebounds alongside a team-leading 12 points.
Cazenovia mounted a valiant comeback in the second half, outscoring Wells by a 43-37 margin in the game's final 20 minutes. In the second half alone, Vrigian buried 21 points after shooting 3-for-4 from three-point range. After a three-point basket with 3:47 left in the second half, she rattled off her team's next six points and ended up tying the game at 69 apiece with 1:21 left in the half.
Vrigian committed her team's next two fouls, sending the Express to the line twice. After the first Wells player missed both free throws, she committed the latter foul that sent Hernandez to the line where she buried two free throws to place the Express ahead, 71-69. Wells was able to keep Cazenovia at arm's length for the remainder of the contest.
Vrigian led all Cazenovia players with 35 points while Mary Salo picked up 11 points and a team-leading 11 rebounds for her team's lone double-double. Rachael McDonough added 10 points off the bench for Cazenovia, burying 5-of-7 field goals from the field.
Wednesday's women's basketball game versus the Wildcats of Cazenovia College was postponed in advance of inclement weather. The Express return to action Monday, Dec. 2 as they host the Hawks of Hilbert College at 7:00 p.m. within the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing.