Nov 17, 2017
PURCHASE, NY – Junior guard Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) buried a game-high 29 points in his Colonials debut as the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team edged Brockport, 66-63, in its season opener on Friday night at the Manhattanville Tip-Off Tournament. Rowe – who transferred from Connecticut College – shot a scorching 10-for-18 (55.6%) from the field, while fellow transfer Geary McLeod (Meriden, CT) – from Mitchell College – chipped in with 10 points for the Colonials.
"It was a nice win to start the season. We played a tough, aggressive team tonight who presses the ball constantly in full and half court play. They forced us off our game a bit, but we gutted this one out. I'm not sure we would have won a game like this last year," said WestConn head coach Jason Harlow following the victory.
The Colonials jumped out to an early 18-11 lead capped off by a Rowe trifecta. The lead stretched to 13 later in the first half when junior forward Eli Rodriguez (Bristol, CT) knocked one down from beyond the arc. WestConn would take a 41-32 advantage into the locker room at the break.
Rowe would sink a pair from the charity stripe midway through the second half, widening the gap to 54-39. Brockport retaliated with 10-0 run finished off with a pair of free throws from Hamed Shamseldin, cutting the lead to 59-53 with 5:31 remaining. However, the Colonials would hold off the surge. With the advantage at 66-60, Brockport's Tyler Collins connected on a three-pointer as time expired, rounding the count out at 66-63.
The Colonials return to action against Manhattanville in the tournament title game on Saturday at 3 p.m.