AURORA, N.Y. – All five starters for the Wells College men's basketball program reached double-digits on Friday, helping the Express to a 77-66 victory over SUNY Cobleskill at the Farenthold Athletic Wing. Wells moves to 11-12 overall on the year and to 9-7 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference while the reigning conference champions from SUNY Cobleskill drop to 3-21 overall and to 3-13 within the league.
Wells and Cazenovia College both sport 9-7 records heading into their final regular season games this weekend – if the Express can keep pace with the Wildcats, Wells would qualify for the playoffs via tiebreaking protocol. Wells has defeated Cazenovia twice in the head-to-head season series and would earn the third and final playoff spot out of the NEAC North Division.
Junior Vaughndell Brantley (Syracuse, N.Y.) filled the stat sheet with a team-leading 19 points and eight rebounds, shooting 7-for-13 from the floor. Freshman Rich Ross (Bronx, N.Y.) scored 18 points, earning five assists, while juniors James Feocco (Auburn, N.Y.) and Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.) both scored 14 points. Senior Jordan Bishop (Arlington, Texas) led his team with three takeaways and scored 11 points.
A layup by Feocco in the game's first 15 seconds put the Express ahead by a 2-0 margin. Wells would not relinquish the lead as the Express built a 23-9 lead with 9:53 left in the first half following a free throw by freshman Tyree Fisher (Henrietta, N.Y.). SUNY Cobleskill would rally late in the half, however, as a 14-to-6 scoring run by the Fighting Tigers cut the Wells lead to 36-33 with 1:02 left in the opening stanza.
Entering halftime with a 38-33 lead, the Express poured it on in the first 10:25 of the second half by using a 24-to-7 scoring run to open up a game-high 23 point lead. SUNY Cobleskill would counter with an 18-to-5 run of its own, but the Express put the game away in the final minutes at the free throw line.
Frank D'Esti led SUNY Cobleskill with 11 points while Quincey Miller poured home 10 for the visitors. Christian Cooper led his team with 12 rebounds off the bench.
Wells will close out the regular season of action this Saturday, Feb. 20 as it hosts SUNY Poly at 1 p.m. on Senior Day. The Express will recognize the contributions of its two seniors, Bishop and Nate Mitchell (Madison, N.Y.), with a pre-game ceremony.