AURORA, N.Y. – A foursome of senior student-athletes from the Wells College women's basketball team was honored prior to the squad's 73-66 loss to the SUNY Polytechnic Institute (20-5, 17-1 NEAC) on Saturday. With the loss, Wells concludes the regular season with a record of 16-9 overall and 12-6 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference.
The Express clinched a berth in the upcoming NEAC postseason tournament and will await word from the league office regarding its next game date, time and site. The team's 16 overall victories are the second-most ever by a Wells women's basketball team during the regular season as the team posted five wins in its last seven contests.
Junior Ashida Cooper (Bensalem, Pa.) tied a career-high with 29 total points, shooting 11-for-20 from the floor. Senior Holli Erkson (Cooperstown, N.Y.) scored 12 points for the Express while sophomore Kamarie Maturine (Brooklyn, N.Y.) reeled in a team-leading 11 rebounds. Freshman Shelby Medovich (Harpursville, N.Y.) dished out three assists while classmate Vielka Barber (Holly Springs, N.C.) racked up three steals.
Down by seven points with 3:45 left to go in regulation, a clutch trey from Medovich with only 1:34 remaining tied the game at 64. On the very next possession, Ryenn Smith made a layup out of a SUNY Poly time out to give her team the lead for good. A missed layup by the Express was rebounded and brought up the court by Stevie Ray, putting SUNY Poly ahead by a 68-64 score with 53 seconds left.
Cooper countered with a jumper, cutting the score to 68-66 with 41 ticks left on the scoreboard, but another Ray layup and a free throw make created an insurmountable 71-66 lead for the Express. Wells would miss a three-pointer and back-to-back free throws before Ray would add two more shots from the charity stripe, creating a 73-66 final score.
A three-pointer from senior Jasmine Thomas (Las Vegas, Nev.) created a four-point lead for Wells exiting the first quarter of action. A jumper from Thomas scored the first points of the second stanza for the Express, creating what would be a game-high lead for Wells at 21-15. SUNY Poly went on a 10-1 run as Ray bombed back-to-back three-point baskets for the Wildcats, helping to chip away at the Wells advantage.
A jumper by Erika Charbonneau with 31 seconds in the first half propelled the Wildcats into the lead, 35-34, heading into the locker room at halftime.
In the third quarter and with the score tied at 41 with 3:55 left in the frame, a free-throw make by senior Lindsay Achzet (Johnstown, N.Y.) would put Wells ahead by one point. SUNY Poly, however, would take the lead in the game for good with an 11-2 run that was highlighted by five points from Ray. Medovich's dramatic triple would tie the game, but Wells would not lead again.
Ray led all Wildcats with 27 points, earning a double-double with 10 rebounds. Charbonneau racked up 13 rebounds while Lauren Knowles would add 14 points and 10 rebounds for SUNY Poly.
Seniors Erkson, Achzet, Thomas and Brooke Benedetto (Williamstown, N.Y.) were honored with a pre-game ceremony in recognition of their career contributions to the program.
Wells will await official word from the North Eastern Athletic Conference regarding its next opponent in the upcoming postseason. Any information will immediately be posted on the Wells College Athletics website.