BOSTON, MA- The Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team fell at Little East Conference opponent UMass-Boston, 86-52, on Saturday afternoon at Clark Athletic Gym. With the loss, the Colonials ended the regular season slate at 13-12 overall and 8-6 in league play, earning the No. 4 seed in the upcoming postseason conference tournament. They will host No. 5 seed UMass-Dartmouth on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Colonials downed the Corsairs in both of their meetings earlier this season.
The reserves led the way for the Colonials as junior guard Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT) finished with 13 points, while classmate Jordan Grant (Norwich, CT) and sophomore Evan Curtin (Portland, CT) added 10 apiece. Junior leading scorer Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) saw limited minutes in his first game back from injury.
Charles Mitchell paced the Beacons with a game-high 22 points while Michael Boyd and Iser Barnes chipped in with 19 and 17, respectively. Dan Powers contributed with game-highs of eight rebounds and four steals.
The difference maker came in both the three-point tally and turnover columns. The hosts drained 14 from downtown while the visitors managed five. The Colonials coughed the rock up 22 times, while the Beacons finished with just 10 turnovers.
The hosts led from the opening tip, erupting for a 23-10 spurt capped with a steal and trifecta from Mitchell. They would head into halftime with a 39-20 advantage.
It was much of the same in the second half as UMass-Boston outscored WestConn 47-32 in the period.
"We need to play a lot better on Tuesday or the postseason will be short lived. We will regroup tomorrow as get prepared for this big week," said Colonial head coach Jason Harlow following the regular season finale.
In other postseason tournament action slated for Tuesday, No. 2 seed Keene State will host No. 7 Southern Maine, while the third-seeded Beacons will square off against sixth-seeded Rhode Island College. Ranked 11th nationally, Eastern Connecticut claimed the top spot and will host eighth-seeded Plymouth State. The four winners will meet in the LEC semifinals on Friday before the championship game on Saturday.