WILLIMANTIC, CT - Senior guard Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT) registered team highs of 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead four Colonials in double figures in the scoring column, but the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team fell 92-76 to cross-state rival Eastern Connecticut State University at Geissler Gym on Saturday afternoon.
Tracy Cleckley, Jr. (Rosedale, NY) added 11 points while Ahmod Privott (Middletown, CT) and Fenton Bradley, Jr. (Mansfield, CT) each added 10 points for WestConn, which has now dropped three straight games, all Little East Conference match-ups and is now 14-9 overall and 8-6 in the league.
The Colonials sit in fourth place in the LEC, two games ahead of jammed up trio of Plymouth State University, Rhode Island College and UMass Boston at 6-8, with two games to play in the regular season.
The third and fourth seeds in the upcoming LEC Tournament earn a home game in the quarterfinals, set to begin on February 19. The Colonials and Anchormen face each other next Wednesday at Feldman Arena in Danbury.
Heading the Warriors were Cory Muckle and Seth Thomas which score 24 and 22 points, respectively, for the winners. Carlos Gonzalez and Jake Collagan tossed in 16 and 15 apiece to help Eastern Connecticut improve to 18-5 overall and a league-best 12-2 mark.
The Warriors led from the jump, but broke the game wide open during a 2:49 stretch midway through the first half. Collagan capped off a 15-0 run for the hosts and they led 32-10 with 10:46 left before intermission.
A three-pointer by Cleckley, Jr. cut the Colonials' deficit to seven points, 34-27 with 4:50 remaining in the first stanza. That would be the closest the visitors would get the rest of the way.
WestConn next takes on Rhode Island College on February 13. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 pm.
ECSU hits the road for its final two regular-season contests, beginning with Wednesday's meeting with Castleton University. The Warriors and Spartans are slated for a 7:30 pm start.