AURORA, N.Y. - The Wells College women’s basketball team fell 55-45 to the Cazenovia College Wildcats in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) opener for both teams Wednesday evening in Cazenovia. The Wildcats held off a late rally by the Express to earn the conference victory.
Kristin Ryan (Syracuse, N.Y.) paced the Express with 14 points and seven rebounds. Jessily Artaho-Aki (Kappaa, Hawaii) added 13 points and three rebounds, while Rachel Mattraw (Chaumont, N.Y.) chipped in with six points and eight rebounds.
Vicki Dufort led the Wildcats with a game high 16 points, while Megan McDermott added 13 points and 11 rebounds.
It was a tight first half as the Wildcats entered the break with a slim 25-22 lead.
The second half continued to be tightly contested as the Wildcats clung to a slim 33-29 lead midway through the half. Down by four points, Erin O’Malley rallied Cazenovia to a 12 point lead, scoring 10 points in a span of five minutes. Despite the large deficit the Express rallied late, trimming the lead to five on two 3-pointers and a jumper from Ryan. With the Express surging on the offensive side of the ball, the Wildcats responded with four straight points and two late free throws to extend their lead to 10, holding on for the conference victory.
The two teams were relatively even on the stat line with the Express holding a slight advantage from the field 37 percent to 34 percent while also holding the advantage on the glass 38-37.
The Express head into the winter break at 1-6 (0-1 NEAC) and will return to action on Jan. 3 when they travel to take on Elmira College at 3 p.m. in Elmira.