BOSTON, MA – An 11-2 run over the final six plus minutes carried the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a 54-48 Little East Conference win over UMass-Boston on Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
Seniors Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT) and Geary McLeod (New London, CT) led the Colonials with a team-high 11 points each in the low scoring affair between the longtime conference rivals. McLeod also racked up a game-high six steals.
With the win, WestConn improved to 11-6 overall and 5-3 in league play, while the Beacons dropped to 9-8 and 4-5.
WestConn is slated to return to action at LEC opponent Southern Maine on Monday at 3:30 p.m., weather pending.
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 WestConn 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, WestConn posted an 11-4 run to head into the locker room leading the Beacons 30-22.
After the break, WestConn 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.