MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – The Morrisville State College men's basketball team suffered a buzzer beating 72-71 loss Saturday afternoon as visiting Wells College picked up the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) victory to move into first place in the North Division.
Morrisville State drops to 6-3 overall on the season, and falls in their first conference contest of the year to 3-1, while Wells improves to 6-3 overall, 4-0 in NEAC play.
Sophomore Rich Ross led the Express comeback, which included an 18-point deficit, with his game high 37-point effort. Ross, who went a perfect 13-for-13 from the free throw line, added four three's to his tallies, including the game winner that he launched from the visitor sideline that ricocheted to the front of the rim and got the visitor roll for the victory as time expired.
Morrisville State had two in double figures, including junior Trent Ward (Auburn, N.Y.) who posted a team best 21 on five bombs from long range, to go along with five rebounds and two assists. Freshman Kevin Dennis (Bronx, N.Y.) added 13 and four rebounds, while teammate's Kenny Bonaparte (Soundview, N.Y.) and Kyle Peck (Oneida, N.Y.) each added eight. Bonaparte also collected six assists while teammate Jordan Hoose (Hudson, N.Y.) led the Mustangs on the boards with 10.
Morrisville State led 39-25 at the half, before Wells used a 17-2 run over the opening seven minutes of the second half to pull within one.
The Mustangs maintained the slim lead until the 2:14 mark when a three by Ross on the left wing gave the visitors their first lead of the contest, 67-66.
Bonaparte tied the game at 67, hitting the back end of his two free throw attempts with 1:28 to go in the contest, before Derek Beames (Otego, N.Y.) put the Mustangs ahead with 42 seconds remaining, 69-67.
Ross, who accounted for the last five Express points, added two more from the free throw line, tying the contest for a second time with 36 ticks to go.
Ward gave Morrisville State the two-point advantage with 15 showing on the clock, but it was the last second toss up by Ross that got the back roll on the rim, that handed the Mustangs the conference loss.
Morrisville State shot 47.4% for the contest, holding Wells to just 36.4% on the afternoon.
The Mustangs return to the court Wednesday, hosting Cazenovia College at 7 p.m. in NEAC play in Morrisville.
Morrisville State College's curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology and has been lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs.
The college was ranked among the Best Regional Colleges in the North by U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges 2016 issue and was also recognized in the Top Public Schools, Regional Colleges North in the 2016 Best Colleges rankings. For more information about Morrisville State College, visit www.morrisville.edu.