ABINGTON, Pa. – Led by senior EZ Garcia's (Cotulla, Texas) career-best 14 points, the Wells College men's basketball team snapped a six-game losing streak with a 58-48 victory over Penn St.-Abington Sunday afternoon on the road. Wells improves to 2-12 on the year while collecting its second North Eastern Athletic Conference victory in six chances. The host Nittany Lions slip to 5-9 overall and to 4-3 within league play.
Garcia posted 14 points for Wells, eclipsing his previous career-best mark of 13 that was set twice – once against Gallaudet on Dec. 4, 2010 and most recently against Cobleskill St. on Dec. 7, 2013. Senior Tyrese Campbell (Staten Island, N.Y.) ranked second on the team, scoring eight points off the bench while sophomores Chris Courtney (Auburn, N.Y.), James Feocco (Auburn, N.Y.) and Darius Smith (Lanham, Md.) each registered seven points.
Wells opened the contest with 11-straight points, holding the host Nittany Lions scoreless through 8:28 of the first half. Ultimately, the Express built up a half-high 12 point lead following a layup by senior Jordan Jean (Englewood, N.J.). Despite a brief rally by the Nittany Lions, Wells would hold on to a 24-15 lead at the half.
The Express would allow Penn St.-Abington to make things interesting in the second half, relinquishing their once sizeable lead after allowing 13-straight points to the Nittany Lions. Penn St.-Abington would eventually take a 32-28 lead after a Max Alton three-point basket with 11:47 left in regulation time.
Campbell's layup with 11:32 left in the second half sparked an impressive 18-to-5 run by Wells that was punctuated by a three-point basket from Courtney with 5:04 left in regulation time. At one point, Wells led by a 13-point margin with 37 seconds left following a Jean free throw, but a late three-point basket by Taj Cannon shrunk the final score to 58-48.
Devin Jones recorded a double-double for Penn St.-Abington, registering 15 points while hauling in 11 rebounds. Alton and Dequan Jackson tallied 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Jones led the team with three takeaways.
Wells returns to action Thursday, Jan. 22 as they host the Phoenix of Wilson College at 7 p.m. in the Farenthold Athletic Wing. Wilson, a former all-women's institution, is in its first season of sponsoring men's basketball.
Photo courtesy of John Miller, AuburnRunners.com