AURORA, N.Y. – With both teams entering play with identical 6-11 (5-7 NEAC) records and fighting for fourth place in the North Eastern Athletic Conference standings, the Wells College women's basketball team lost a halftime lead en route to a 60-48 loss to Keuka College Wednesday evening at the Farenthold Athletic Wing.
Wells now has an uphill battle to qualify for the conference postseason, sitting in fifth place in the NEAC North Division with five games remaining. The Express, however, play three of the next five games within the friendly confines of the Farenthold Athletic Wing and will look to make up ground with head-to-head battles against Morrisville State, SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY Poly.
The Express were led by junior Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) and her 18 total points, posting seven of her team's 14 total field goals in the game. She also racked up a team-best six rebounds. Senior Jessilyn Artaho-Aki (Kapa'a, Hawaii) scored eight points for Wells while classmate Kaitlynne Knapp (Port Byron, N.Y.) tallied an impressive six blocks. The Express also attempted a team-record 28 three-point baskets.
Wells opened up a 5-0 lead in the game's first two minutes as a Knapp jumper preceded a three-point basket by senior Cassie Smythe (Eden, N.Y.). The lead, however, was the largest of the game for the Express but Wells was able to rebound from a 17-15 deficit to take a 20-17 lead with 1:41 left in the opening stanza. A late jumper by Keuka's Samantha Blum with only five seconds left in the frame cut the Wells halftime lead to 23-22.
Keuka, however, came out of the half with seven-straight points to stun the Express. The Wolfpack went on to score 18 of the game's 24 total points within the half's first 8:12 and Wells was unable to recover from this offensive outburst. The Express cut the lead to five points twice, but could not muster a successful comeback.
The Wolfpack, who shot an impressive 47.8% from the field, were led by Erica Pendrak's 16 points and nine assists. Three other players reached double-digit point scoring while Amanda Kubitz reeled in eight rebounds.
Wells returns to action Saturday, Feb. 14 as they host Penn College at high noon.