AURORA, N.Y. – Senior Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kapa'a, Hawaii) and junior Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) each recorded 20 points en route to their team's 78-60 victory over Alfred University on Wednesday at the Frances Tarlton Farenthold Athletic Wing. With their first-ever victory over the Saxons, Wells improves to 1-0 on the season while Alfred (0-3) drops their 10th straight game dating back to last season.
The Express shot .508 as a team, the fourth-best mark in program history. Artaho-Aki's 20 point effort came via an 8-for-17 performance from the floor as she became only the fourth player in program history to eclipse 500 points in a career. Erkson, who shot 8-for-13 on the evening, also racked up two three-point baskets in this evening's game, the 49th and 50th treys of her career.
Junior Lindsay Achzet (Johnstown, N.Y.) reeled in a team-best eight rebounds in this evening's game, narrowly missing a double-double with nine points of offense. Senior Kaitlynne Knapp (Port Byron, N.Y.) scored 13 points while freshman Kamarine Maturine (Brooklyn, N.Y.), making her collegiate debut, was 5-for-5 from the floor in only 13 minutes of action, tallying 11 total points.
Wells ran into some early trouble in the contest as a Harley Cleary three-point basket at 10:36 elevated the guests to a 24-16 lead. The Express, however, countered with an 8-2 run that saw Aczhet contribute four-straight points and Erkson hit a jumper at 6:10 to cut the lead to 26-24. With the score tied at 31 aside, the Express went on a 6-2 run that saw Maturine rack up a layup in the paint and a jumper with 1:28 remaining to set the halftime score at 37-33.
The Express came out of the locker room with a purpose, building a 12 point lead with 14:29 remaining in regulation time after a 15-7 run by the home team. To kickstart the second half scoring, Knapp scored on a layup only 16 seconds into the half and Artaho-Aki made back-to-back layups opening up a 10 point lead. Despite a jumper by Amanda Off, an Erkson three-point basket established an 11 point lead for the Express.
A game-high 20 point lead was established with 35 seconds left in the game as the Express scored seven-straight points following a Cleary three-pointer with 2:40 left in the stanza. Artaho-Aki and Erkson both posted layups and a Knapp free throw preceded a layup in the paint to establish the decisive lead.
Cleary carried the offensive weight for Alfred, striking for 18 points after a 7-for-14 performance from the floor. Off posted a double-double, scoring 17 total points and chipping in with 13 rebounds and a team-best five steals while playing all 40 minutes for the Saxons.
Wells was scheduled to play D'Youville on the road Thursday but the game has been canceled due to inclement weather in Western New York. The Express return to action Saturday, Nov. 22 as they host the Hawks of Hilbert College at 1 p.m.