Western Connecticut Edges Men’s Basketball, 54-48

Western Connecticut Edges Men’s Basketball, 54-48

BOSTON, Mass. – An 11-2 run over the final six plus minutes carried Western Connecticut State University to a 54-48 Little East Conference win over men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 48, Western Connecticut State University 54

UMass Boston (9-8, 4-5 Little East Conference)
Western Connecticut State (11-6, 5-3 Little East Conference)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Aaron Samuel and Geary McLeod led the Colonials with a team-high 11 points each in the low scoring affair between the longtime conference rivals. 

For UMass Boston, Dasan Cinelli (Boston, Mass.) had another big game for the Beacons as he collected his second straight double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds.  Javaris Hill (Lynn, Mass.) also walked away with Saturday's loss with a double-double of his own, the second of his career, and the first since the season opener.

Michael Boyd (Malden, Mass.) was the only other Beacon to finish in double-figures with his 10 points.  UMass Boston struggled offensive from start to finish in Saturday's loss as they failed to shoot over 26% in either half.  Western Connecticut's first half was the only half in which either team shot over 26%, as the Colonials managed to shoot just 25% in the second half.

Neither team really gained the offensive momentum as the two teams exchanged control of the lead throughout the first half.  UMB came out firing and jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, with Hill scoring both opening field goals.  Legend Johnson countered the back-to-back field goals with a 3-pointer.  Samuel would match his teammate on the next WCSU possession to give his team their first lead of the contest.

From there neither team held more than a two-possession lead until the final three minutes of the opening half.  During those final minutes, WCSU posted an 11-4 run to head into the locker room leading the Beacons 30-22.

After the break, WCSU maintained their solid lead for the first five minutes, but were quickly countered by a Beacons run, which saw UMB tie the game at 37-37 with twelve-and-half to play.

UMB would gain the advantage with less than eight to play thanks to four straight made free throws to make it 46-42.  A pair of made lay-ups by the Colonials tied the game at 46 a-piece with just under five remaining. 

The remainder of the contest would be decided at the free throw line, with the only field goal belonging to Samuel, which made it a two possession game with 1:16 left.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • With the win the Colonials sweep the regular season series with the Beacons for the first time since the 2015-16 season
  • The Beacons recorded a season-high seven blocked shot
  • UMass Boston also led on the glass 44-41; with 16 of those rebounds coming on the offensive side of the court

WHO'S NEXT

The Beacons will host Keene State College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m