The Wells College men's basketball team fell in an exciting North Eastern Athletic Conference quarterfinal playoff game 76-73 at Morrisville State College on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The game featured nine ties and 14 lead changes.
Rich Ross led Wells with 19 points and Tyree Fisher scored a career-high 17 points for the Express. Vaughndell Brantley scored 14 and James Feocco added 12. Chris Courtney led Wells with seven rebounds and nine assists.
Wells shot 45.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc with 15 makes on 33 attempts. Fisher was 5-for-6 from behind the arc on his way to a career-best scoring night. Ross made four 3-pointers, and Brantley and Anthony Nesci made three each.
Wells took a 70-64 lead with 5:11 left in the second half on a 3-pointer from Ross, but the Mustangs responded with seven straight points to take a 71-70 lead. Ross added another trey from the right wing with 2:10 left to put the Express ahead 73-71. Morrisville got a free throw and then a baseline jumper to take a 74-73 lead.
Wells trailed by three with the game's final possession, but a 3-pointer from the top of the key rattled in and out, and after an offensive rebound, a 3-point attempt from the left corner was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
Morrisville held a 42-31 rebounding advantage in the contest.
Wells led 33-30 after a back-and-forth first half. Morrisville held a 22-16 lead midway through the half, but Wells answered with a 3-pointer from Ross and three-point play from Brantley to tie the score. Morrisville scored three more points in a row and then Wells went on its best run of the first half, an 11-2 spurt keyed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Tyree Fisher.
It was the final game of the careers of seniors Vaughndell Brantley, Chris Courtney, and James Feocco. Wells completed its season with a 17-9 record, the second-best winning percentage in a season in school history. The Express made the postseason for the seventh time in the last nine years. Morrisville is 20-6 overall and advances to the NEAC championship weekend hosted by Gallaudet University.