AURORA, N.Y. – With his team trailing by two points, freshman Christopher Dean (Wolcott, N.Y.) hit a three-point shot with only 13 seconds left in regulation time to put the Wells College men's basketball team up for good in their 54-52 victory over SUNY Cobleskill Sunday afternoon at the Farenthold Athletic Wing.
Wells secures their first victory of the year, improving to 1-6 overall on the year and to 1-2 within the North Eastern Athletic Conference. SUNY Cobleskill drops to 1-8 on the season and to 0-2 in league play.
The Express trailed by a 50-47 margin with 3:03 remaining in the second half, but a clutch three-point basket by freshman MJ Williams (Riverview, Fla.) with 1:12 left tied the game at 50 aside. Shortly thereafter, Cobleskill's Mike Chapman elevated his team to a 52-50 lead with a layup at the 40 second mark. Following a Wells timeout, Dean bombed his go-ahead three-pointer with only 13 seconds left on the clock to place the hosts up by a 53-52 score.
A free throw by senior Shakeel Simmons (Brentwood, N.Y.) put Wells up by two and a late heave by the Fighting Tigers from distance fell short of the mark, locking up a win for the Express.
Williams led all Wells players with his career-high 17 points, shooting 5-for-7 from beyond the arc. Senior Tyrese Campbell (Staten Island, N.Y.) ranked second, scoring 10 points after shooting 70% (7-for-10) from the charity stripe. Dean hauled in 10 rebounds for the Express while Williams' five assists led the team.
SUNY Cobleskill opened the game with an 8-2 lead within the game's first 5:36 but the Express would not allow a larger deficit to the Fighting Tigers throughout the game. A jumper by Dean with 12:39 remaining in the first half tied the game and a field goal from freshman Jared Alexander (Adelphi, Md.) elevated Wells to their first lead of the afternoon at 12:17. A free throw by senior Salvatore Fabozzi (Staten Island, N.Y.) would grant Wells a two point lead entering the half.
Despite several Wells leads in the second half, SUNY Cobleskill would rally to tie the game five separate times down the stretch. The Fighting Tigers captured their first lead of the second stanza with 7:46 left as a three-pointer by Bryan Backus followed up a game-tying "three" by Alexis Nunez only 27 seconds later. The Backus trey played the visitors up by a 45-42 margin.
Another three-pointer by Backus later in the half placed the visitors up by a 49-45 score with 3:47 left. A jumper by Williams of the Express preceded a single foul shot by Chapman to place the score at 50-47, setting the stage for the late heroics of Dean.
Travis Woods scored a team-high 11 points for SUNY Cobleskill with Chapman trailing with 10 points of his own. Woods also led the team with eight rebounds while Nunez assisted a team-leading nine baskets. Taylor Sanders picked up a team-best three takeaways.
Wells will make the 45 minute drive down Route 90 to take on Ithaca College at 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Dec. 10.