DANBURY, CT – Five different players netted double figures as the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team downed visiting non-conference cross-state foe Connecticut College, 86-78, Wednesday night at the O'Neill Center's Feldman Arena. With the win, the Colonials notched their third straight victory, improving to 12-8 overall, while the Camels dropped to 6-14.
Rookie guard Legend Johnson (Waterbury, CT) tallied team-highs of 16 points and eight rebounds while junior Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) added 15 points for the Colonials. Juniors Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT) and Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) chipped in with 14 apiece, while sophomore Fenton Bradley Jr. (Mansfield, CT) rounded out the double figures barrage with 12.
Junior forward David Labossiere (Stoneham, MA) led the Camels with a game-high 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor, while rookie Dan Draffan (Hamden, CT) earned a double-double with 19 and 10 boards.
"Legend Johnson has been a great surprise for us. After not playing in the beginning of the season, he's worked hard to earn playing time," said WestConn head coach Jason Harlow. "Now we need to gear up for a big February," he added.
For the game, the Colonials forced 21 turnovers while committing just 12. The hosts also finished with the edge in the rebound column, 35-32.
WestConn jumped out to an early 10-2 lead capped with a Rowe trifecta. The visitors countered with a run of their own to capture a 19-17 advantage after Draffan buried two of his nine free throws on the night. The contest remained close throughout the remainder of the first half before Johnson converted a three-point play, cutting the deficit to 41-40 at the break.
With the count deadlocked at 50-50, the Colonials put together a 12-3 run. Samuel ignited the spurt with a layup before Rowe stole the ball at midcourt and breezed in for an easy bucket, extending the advantage to 62-53 with 13:10 left on the clock.
The gap would widen to 14 which included a pair of offensive rebound slam dunks from Bradley Jr. before the visitors rallied late, slicing the lead to just five with 28 seconds remaining. However, the Colonials played strong defense in the waning moments and connected on their shots from the charity stripe to seal the win.
WestConn concludes the regular season with a five-game Little East Conference run in February beginning on Saturday at 3 p.m. when they travel to Plymouth State – who they edged, 59-58, earlier this season.