DANBURY, CT – Five players notched double figures as the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team upended visiting Little East Conference opponent UMass-Boston, 81-65, on Saturday afternoon at the O'Neill Center's Feldman Arena on Alumni Day. Junior guard Eli Rodriguez (Bristol, CT) led the Colonials with a double-double on game-highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds, while classmate guard Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) dished out a game-high nine assists.
With the victory, WestConn evened its overall record at 7-7 and improved to 4-1 in league play, while the Beacons fell to 8-8 and 2-3.
"I thought we played really well tonight. We didn't play the entire 40 minutes, but we managed to stay disciplined for the majority of the game," stated Colonial head coach Jason Harlow following win. "Tyler Rowe played a tremendous game for us. We wouldn't have won without his effort tonight," he added.
As the team's leading scorer, Rowe was held to just seven points. Despite being double-teamed, he was able to find the open man consistently while not committing a single turnover. Junior forward Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) added 16 points for the Colonials, while classmate Chaunce Dunbar (Windsor, CT) and sophomore Evan Curtin (Portland, CT) chipped in with 13 apiece. Rookie Shea Tracy (New Britain, CT) also netted 10 to round out the double figures barrage.
Senior guard Iser Barnes (Boston, MA) and rookie guard Michael Boyd (Malden, MA) paced the Beacons with 17 points each, while senior forward Dan Powers (Westwood, MA) earned a double-double with 11 and 10 off the glass.
After going 0-for-17 from beyond the arc in the previous contest, the Colonials came to life, burying 10-of-22 three-pointers against UMass-Boston. The hosts finished with 18 dimes, compared to just six for the Beacons.
The visitors led by as many as seven points in the first half. However, WestConn would trim the advantage to just 34-33 at the break. The Colonials blew the game-wide open in the second stanza. With the count knotted at 40-40, the hosts went on a 20-4 run capped with a corner trifecta from Tracy with 9:03 remaining.
They would maintain the wide margin for the remainder of the contest as they cruised to victory. WestConn returns to action for yet another LEC tilt when they travel to Rhode Island College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.