NEW PALTZ, NY – Despite a game-high 18 points from junior Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT), the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team fell at non-conference foe New Paltz, 83-75, Tuesday night at the Hawk Center. With the loss, the Colonials four-game win streak was snapped as they dropped to 5-4 overall, while the Hawks improved to 3-6.
Three other players finished in double figures for WestConn as juniors Geary McLeod (Meriden, CT), Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT), and Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) finished with 17, 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Brandon Guest and Tristan Wiessemann paced the hosts with 14 points apiece, while Kevin Coyle added 12. The New Paltz bench outscored the visitors, 37-20.
The contest remained close much of the first half before the Hawks took a 39-34 lead into the break at halftime after a layup from Paddy Parr.
The Hawks stretched the lead to 54-43 when Dylan Balducci connected on a three-pointer early in the second half. The visitors countered with a 16-6 run capped by a pair of McLeod free throws to slice it to 60-59 midway through the half.
The Colonials regained the lead when Rashard Rodriguez hit a charity stripe shot to make it 73-72 with 1:34 left on the clock. However, the hosts answered with an 11-2 spurt to close out the game.
After a lengthy layoff, WestConn returns to action against visiting non-league opponent Potsdam State on Thursday, December 28 at 6 p.m.