January 21, 2012

Western Conn. Sneaks by Men's Basketball in Conference Play

DANBURY, Conn. — Led by all-time career scoring leader DaQuan Brooks the Colonials of Western Connecticut State University (14-3, 5-2 Little East) held off men's basketball (5-12, 1-6 Little East) to earn a 82-73 Little East Conference win Saturday afternoon at Feldman Arena.

Brooks led all scorers with 30 points and also dished out a game-best nine assists. Also scoring in double figures for Western were senior Michael Kennedy with 14 points, senior Gary Robinson with 13 points and freshman Luis Bridtter with 12 points.

Kennedy completed a double-double by pulling down 10 rebounds to lead Western.

Leading the Beacons offensive attack was freshman Mike Caceres (Opa-Locka, Fla.) with 22 points. Caceres was 6-of-16 from the field, which included four 3-pointers. At the line he was 6-for-7 overall. Behind him was Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) who had nine points and five rebounds.

Western ran out to an early lead in Saturday's conference match-up when a Brooks 3-pointer gave the Colonials a 10-2 lead with just over five minutes played.

Western still led 16-10 after a 3-pointer by senior Kennedy with 10 minutes remaining in the half, but the Beacons managed to fight their way back and with a 9-0 run jumped out to their first lead of the game, 19-16.

A pair of free throws by Erving Morales (Miami, Fla.) pushed the Beacons lead to 25-20, but two jumpers and a free throw by freshman Bridtter sparked a 12-2 Western run to put the Colonials back on top, 32-27.

The Colonials never trailed after Bridtter put them back up with a jumper with 4:05 remaining in the first stanza.

Brooks then dropped in seven of the Colonials final nine points to give Western Connecticut a 41-33 lead at the half.

After the break, the Colonials momentum continued as they extended their lead to 11, all thanks to Brooks.

Showing no signs of quitting the Beacons rattled off eight of the games next 10 points to draw within five points, 54-49 on a jumper by Caceres.

UMass Boston would get the Colonials lead down to four points, on four different occasions down the stretch. The final time, with the score at 77-73, came on a lay in by Morales with 1:16 to play.

The Colonials, which are Also Receiving Votes in the latest D3Hoops.com poll, scored the final five points from the free throw line.

For the game, Western had a 36-34 advantage in rebounds, as well as a slight 18-17 edge in assists. The Colonials finished shooting 48.3% from the floor and 73.1% from the line, while UMass Boston connected on 40.7% and 71.9%.

Men's basketball returns to action on Tuesday when they travel to UMass Dartmouth for a 7:30 p.m. Little East Conference game.