READING, Pa. – The Wells College women's basketball team recorded a 78-71 victory over the Nittany Lions of Penn St.-Berks on the road Friday. With the win, the Express (14-7, 9-3 NEAC) have won their 14th game of the season, setting a single season program record for victories in a season. By extending their program record winning streak to six games, the Express also improve to 9-3 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. The Nittany Lions fall to 3-18 overall on the year and to 3-11 within league play.
In their fourth season as a modern era varsity program at Wells, the Express have steadily improved their win total since making their debut in the 2010-11 season. The Express, who won their program record fifth-straight game against Wilson on Saturday, broke the former record streak of four-straight games during the 2012-13 season.
Senior Ashley Roser (Taberg, N.Y.) tallied her 77th career double-double, scoring a team-best 28 total points alongside 15 rebounds for the Express. She also posted a team-high five steals and three assists while tying for the team lead in blocks (three) with junior Kaitlynne Knapp (Port Byron, N.Y.). Senior Theresa Hernandez (Dewitt, N.Y.) shot 4-for-5 from the floor and buried three foul shots, ranking second on the team in points (11) and steals (five).
The Express trailed by as much as eight points in the contest, falling behind by a 16-8 margin following a Shanelle Koch jumper with 5:10 expired in the first half. Wells, however, was sparked by a three-point basket from sophomore Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) to cut into the deficit. Following a layup by Koch with 12:00 remaining in the first, Wells scored the game's next six points to tie the game at 22 aside with 10:47 left in the opening half.
Down by two points, 43-41, with 1:23 left in the first half, Knapp singlehandedly swung the momentum by tying the game at 43 aside heading into the locker room with a layup with two seconds left on the game clock. Cumulatively in the half, Wells scored 30 points in the paint and took advantage of Nittany Lions miscues to the tune of 21 points off of turnovers. In the first half alone, however, Koch struck for 25 points to keep the Nittany Lions in the contest.
The Nittany Lions and the Express battled throughout the second half, tying the game eight times before Wells captured the lead for good. A Nittany Lions turnover with 2:35 left in the second half led directly to a layup by junior Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kapa'a, Hawaii), granting Wells the 71-69 lead. A foul shot by Hernandez with three seconds left created a seven point lead for the Express, a game-high lead.
Penn St.-Berks was led by a whopping 38 points by Koch – no other Wells opponent in program history has scored as many individual points as the Nittany Lions guard. She also added a team-best 13 rebounds and five steals to complete the well-rounded effort. Khadijah Robinson and Keisha Robinson each scored 12 points with the latter adding seven assists and four steals.
Wells returns to action Sunday, Feb. 16 as they host the Screaming Eagles from the College of Saint Elizabeth in a 1:00 p.m. contest at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. Live Statistics and Live Video are available by visiting the Wells College Athletics website (http://www.wells-express.com).