DANBURY, CT - Junior guard Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) scored a game-high 32 points to lead the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team to an 83-75 victory over University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at Dr. Stephen Feldman Arena on Tuesday night in the Little East Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
Rowe, who had been sidelined for all but 11 minutes of the previous four games with an injury, connected on 12-of-19 shots from the field, including 5-of-8 from three-point range in 32 minutes of play. He also dished out three assists, had five rebounds and made two steals against the Corsairs.
"We received a great boost to our offense tonight with the return of Tyler (Rowe)," said second-year coach Jason Harlow. "His ability to score in bunches took a lot of pressure of the rest of the team. I was also very happy with the play of our bench, especially Legend (Johnson) and Shea (Tracy) tonight.
Leading a balanced offensive attack for the Corsairs was Arinze Obiora (Lagos, Nigeria) who scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, MA) added 19 points while Joshua Imadiyi (Lynn, MA) and Atakan Akcam (Ankara, Turkey) contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Imadiyi joined Obiora with a game-high 10 boards.
In the first half, WestConn, now 14-12, led by as many as seven points, 26-19, following a long three pointer from Rowe with 11:23 left before the break.
UMass Dartmouth bounced back to outscore the Colonials, 23-12 over the next 10 minutes and led by four points after Obiora converted on a pair of free throws.
After the games' fifth deadlock at 47-47, 1:21 into the second stanza, WestConn scored 18 of the next 25 points to take an 11-point advantage following a lay in from Eli Rodriguez (Bristol, CT) with loads of time remaining in regulation.
The Corsairs, which ends its season at 12-14, drew even at 72-72, following another bucket off the glass from Obiora with 2:18 left, but were not able to get over the hump.
WestConn scored 11 of the final 16 points before the final buzzer.
The Colonials will take on intra-state rival and LEC regular-season champion Eastern Connecticut State University at 5:30 pm on Friday, February 23. The Warriors defeated Plymouth State University, 107-67 on Tuesday. Keene State College faces UMass Boston in the nightcap on Friday at Geissler Gym. KSC defeated Southern Maine, 92-48 while UMB edged Rhode Island College, 73-67 on Tuesday night in the other quarterfinal pairings. Tip-off between the Owls and Beacons is set for 7:30 pm.