Ezema’s Double-Double Leads Ithaca Past Wells, 82-73

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ITHACA, N.Y. – Senior Peter Ezema notched his 29th career double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds to propel the Ithaca College men's basketball team past Wells College, 82-73, in a non-conference matchup inside Ben Light Gymnasium. Ithaca is now 3-3 on the season, while Wells drops to 1-5 on the year. The Bombers are now 7-1 all-time against the Express.

Ezema went 8-for-13 from the field and added six steals with four assists in 33 minutes as the Bombers never trailed Wells in the contest. Junior Riley Thompson led IC with 21 points on 9-of-20 shooting to go along with four rebounds, while classmate Sebastian Alderete tallied 15 points on 7-of-18 from the floor and seven boards.

Senior Matt Flood also reached double figures in points with 13 on an efficient 5-of-8 evening, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Flood also dished out four assists. Freshman Skylar Sinon earned his first collegiate start and finished the evening with seven points and five rounds.

Sophomore Cooper Macklin delivered a solid outing in 17 minutes off the bench as he notched six points and five rebounds.

Ithaca scored the game's opening four points over a 1:48 span on baskets from Thompson and Alderete before the Express could get on the board. After the 4-2 difference, the Bombers went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to establish the first 10-point spread of the game at 14-4.

The lead grew to 27-10 by the 9:33 mark on a 3-pointer by Macklin, but Wells brought things back to a nine-point difference, 32-23, with 3:46 on the clock. IC would then go back up by 14 points at 39-25, on a 3-pointer and layup from Flood, but a four-point play by the Express with 1:47 to play in the half brought the difference back to 10 points, which happened the be the halftime spread, 41-31.

In the second half, Wells quickly closed to a seven-point gap at 43-36 within the first two minutes, but the Bombers pushed things back out to 10 on buckets from Thompson and Alderete at the 17:26 mark. Just 2:20 later, the Express pulled to within six points, 49-43, on a three-point play by Jalen Tribble.

The game would remain a single-digit disparity for more than four minutes until a made free throw by freshman George Sikoryak III with 11:56 to play made the score, 57-47, Bombers. Wells wasted no time to get back to within a two-possession game as Rich Ross, who finished the night with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, drilled a 3-pointer to bring the Express to a 57-50 difference with 11:42 on the clock.

At the 9:12 mark, Ithaca led the Express, 63-55, but that was the final time Wells would be within 10 points (besides the final score), as the Bombers went on a 12-2 run over the next 3:19 to establish their largest lead of the night at 75-57 with 5:55 to go.

The Express would not go down without a fight, however, as they immediately responded with an 8-0 in just 1:28 of action to creep back to within 10 points at 75-65. Ithaca called a timeout to regroup, and it paid dividends, as six straight points – four from Ezema and two from Thompson – ballooned the lead back out to 16 at 81-65 with 2:46 and subsequently put the game away for IC.

Wells would score eight of the final nine points in the contest to account for the final tally of 82-73.

The Bombers went 35-for-81 (43.2%) on the night and took 30 more shots than the Express, who went 28-for-51 (54.9%). Ithaca converted 22 Wells turnovers into 26 points and used 19 offensive rebounds to tally 26 second-chance points.

Ithaca will be back at home next Tuesday evening, December 11, at 8 p.m. for another non-conference contest against No. 17 The University of Rochester inside Ben Light Gymnasium.