DARTMOUTH, MA – Junior guard Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) drained a game-high 26 points and dished out five assists, while classmate Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT) chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds to lead the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball squad to a 77-70 victory at Little East Conference opponent UMass-Dartmouth on Saturday afternoon at Tripp Athletic Center. With the win, the Colonials improved to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in league play, while the Corsairs fell to 6-2 and 1-1.
Joshua Imadiyi led UMass-Dartmouth with 19 points and 14 boards, while Arinze Obiora also notched a double-double, tallying 15 points while pulling down 15 off the glass.
"It was a great team win by our guys in a place that is always hard to pick up a victory. We had terrific contributions from everyone. Hopefully we can get this same effort in our next game at New Paltz," said WestConn head coach Jason Harlow.
The visitors scored the contest's first five points before the hosts countered with a 13-0 run. The Colonials struck right back with a spurt to regain a 19-18 lead when Rowe sank a pair from the charity stripe midway through the first half.
Junior forward Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) – who also finished in double figures with 12 points – notched a layup to stretch the gap to 39-31 before the visitors would head into the locker room ahead, 39-33.
WestConn erupted with a 15-0 run to begin the second half. Junior guard Eli Rodriguez (Bristol, CT) sparked the spurt with a layup before classmate guard Geary McLeod (Meriden, CT) completed the outburst when he hit a free throw, giving the Colonials their largest lead of the game at 54-33.
The hosts would cut the deficit to 72-65 when Nick Bond knocked down a shot from beyond the arc with 2:55 remaining. However, they could not chop the lead down further as Rowe knocked down a trifecta with 1:05 left, extending the count to 77-67 before the Corsairs answered with a three-pointer to round the scoring out at 77-70.
WestConn returns to action for a non-conference matchup at New Paltz on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.