DANBURY, CT – Despite a team-high 18 points from junior forward Fenton Bradley Jr. (Mansfield, CT), the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team fell to visiting Little East Conference foe Keene State College, 79-70, on Wednesday night at Feldman Arena. With the loss, the Colonials dropped to 10-6 overall and 4-3 in league play, while the Owls improved to 9-7 and 5-3.
Junior guard Ronald Jefferson (Brooklyn, NY) chipped in with 17 points, while senior guard Geary McLeod (New London, CT) contributed a solid effort, notching seven to go along with seven rebounds and game-highs of six assists and five steals for the hosts.
Senior forward Ty Nichols (Springfield, MA) led Keene with game-highs of 28 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore center James Anozie (Poughkeepsie, NY) added 16 points while pulling down seven boards.
The Owls shot an efficient 60.9% (14-of-23) from the field in the second half, which included 60% (6-of-10) from three-point range, while the Colonials went 39% (16-of-41) of which 16.7% (2-of-12) was from beyond the arc.
Keene raced out to a 24-8 advantage midway through the opening half as rookie guard Paul Mahon (Franklin, MA) canned back-to-back trifectas to round out the flurry. Senior forward Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) converted a four-point play to bring the hosts to within six, making it 35-29 at the break.
WestConn sliced the gap to 39-35 early in the second when senior forward Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT) muscled in an offensive putback. However, Keene put together a mini-spurt to extend the lead to 45-35.
The Colonials continued to fight, cutting the deficit to 49-46 when Jefferson connected on a runner while being hacked. He would sink the ensuing free throw, good for the three-point play.
Sophomore guard Legend Johnson (Waterbury, CT) snagged an offensive board and hit the layup, shrinking the Owls' lead to just one point, 54-53, with 6:35 remaining.
However, Keene retaliated with a 12-2 run to put the contest out of reach. The Colonials return to action with a busy weekend of conference games, squaring up at UMass-Boston on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., before returning to the court on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Southern Maine. Keene State will host Southern Maine on Saturday at 1 p.m.