DANBURY, Conn. – A commanding first half lead all but dissolved as the host Colonials of Western Connecticut State University rallied to stun men's basketball with a 57-50 Little East Conference decision Saturday afternoon at Feldman Arena.
UMass Boston 50, Western Connecticut State University 57
UMass Boston (5-3, 1-3 Little East Conference)
Western Connecticut State (6-3, 2-1 Little East Conference)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After jumping out to as much as a 14 point (16-2) lead, men's basketball's red-hot offense went ice cold giving WCSU the opportunity to cut the deficit to one (21-20) right before the halftime break. The Beacons, who could not miss through the first 13 minutes of the opening frame, failed to make a basket over the final seven minutes 30 seconds following a Dasan Cinelli (Boston, Mass.) 3-pointer. The Cinelli trey made it a 10-point affair (21-11) at the time.
Through the first 10 minutes of the second half, the two teams battled back-and-forth exchanging control of the lead. It was not until the eight minute mark that WCSU managed to gain some breathing room, as they went on a 10-0 run to make it 44-36.
The Beacons did cut the Colonials lead down to two with just under two minutes remaining in regulation. However, WCSU would closed out the contest with five straight points to seal the conference victory.
The duo of Ronald Jefferson and Aaron Samuel did a majority of the work for the Colonials. The duo combined for 27 of the team's 57 points.
Jefferson led the way in the second half with 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting, and a 7-of-9 performance at the charity stripe. Samuel finished 4-for-9 from the field and 2-for-2 at the line to finish with 10 second half points. They each grabbed four rebounds, and had a pair of assists, as they fueled the WCSU comeback.
BY THE NUMBERS
- On the day UMass Boston shot a season-low 29.8% from the field; Neither team shot over 30% in the first half
- The Beacons held a 39-37 advantage on the glass
- UMB finished shooting 34.8% (8-23) from distance
- Their 72.7% (8-11) showing at the free throw line was their second best as a team since going 14-for-19 (73.7%) against the College of St. Joseph's (VT) on November 17
- Western Connecticut has now five of their last nine meetings with UMB
- The Colonials dominated the paint as they outscored UMB 28-16
- In total there were nine lead changes and the score was tied a total of three times
The Beacons will host Emmanuel College on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Clark Gymnasium.