Courtesy of WestConn Athletic Communications
DANBURY, Conn. – Senior forward Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT) racked up a game-high 29 points on a red-hot 11-of-15 shooting from the floor while pulling down seven rebounds to guide the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a 109-81 victory over the visiting University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference battle on Saturday afternoon. With the win, the Colonials wrapped up the regular season slate at 16-9 overall and 10-6 in league play, while the Huskies finished at 6-19 and 3-13. WestConn previously secured the No. 4 seed in the upcoming LEC Postseason Championship Tournament. They will host No. 5 UMass-Boston in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Seniors Geary McLeod (New London, CT) and Eli Rodriguez (Bristol, CT) pierced double figures in scoring for the Colonials with 15 and 12 points, respectively. Classmate Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) added nine and a game-high nine rebounds, while Gemel McLeod (New London, CT) chipped in with three points and three rebounds in just 11 minutes on Senior Day for the aforementioned players.
Junior guard Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland, ME) led Southern Maine with 15 points while notching game-highs of six assists and six steals. Seniors Christian McCue (Hampden, ME) and Sean Jany (Westbrook, ME) contributed 14 and 13 points, respectively.
The Colonials shot a scorching 52.7% (39-of-74) from the field for the contest, while the Huskies managed just a 37.5% (27-of-72) clip. The hosts held a 52-35 advantage on the glass and scored 25 points off turnovers while the visitors finished with 11 off miscues.
WestConn led from wire-to-wire. They opened the contest with an 11-5 run capped with an Eli Rodriguez trifecta. He would knock down four from beyond the arc on the day.
The Colonials extended the advantage to 56-34 at the break when Geary McLeod sank a jumper. It was more of the same in the second half, which featured highlight reel dunks from Samuel and junior forward Fenton Bradley Jr. (Mansfield, CT).
The LEC Quarterfinals will be played on Tuesday. The final four will be hosted by Keene State, who downed Eastern Connecticut in Saturday afternoons other action.