DANBURY, CT - Junior guard Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) scored a game-high 38 points, but it was not enough for the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team to overcome visiting Hamilton College as the Colonials fell, 97-88 in the home opener at Feldman Arena on Tuesday afternoon.
Rowe connected on 13 of 25 shots from the floor, 6-of-10 from three-point range and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe against the Continentals.
Hamilton, now 3-0, were led by junior guard Tim Doyle's (Schenectady, NY) 21 points. He was one of five Continentals to reach double figures in the scoring column.
Peter Hoffmann (Putnam Valley, NY) and Kena Gilmour (New Paltz, NY) added 18 points apiece while Andrew Groll (Armonk, NY) and Mark Lutz (Fayettevill, NY) came off the bench to score 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Groll pulled down a game-high 13 boards while Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) collected 11 rebounds for the Colonials.
WestConn, now 1-2, built a 10-point advantage, 31-21, following a pair of free throws from Rashard Rodriguez with 6:29 left before intermission.
The Continentals would go on to score 23 of the next 31 points before the buzzer would sound for the break. Doyle capped off the run with a pair of free throws with eight second left in the half.
There were eight lead changes and four ties over the first 20 minutes.
A three-point bucket from Dunbar, with 14:03 remaining in the game, gave WestConn its only lead, 57-55, in the second stanza.
Joe Pucci's (New York, NY) converted a three-point play with a lay in and free throw as the visitors went on another prolonged run. That capped off a 5:34 span when Hamilton scored 17 of the games next 21 points to take a 74-61 lead.
"We know we can put points on the board, but we have to step up our defense or we are going to struggle," acknowledge WestConn's second-year head coach Jason Harlow. "Defense doesn't only win championships, it is paramount in every game."
The Colonials travel to Pine Manor College for a non-league game this Sunday, November 26. Tip-off is slated for 2 pm.