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Men's Basketball Comeback Falls Short at Keene State, 78-77

Men's Basketball Comeback Falls Short at Keene State, 78-77

KEENE, NH – Despite 17 points and a game-high seven rebounds from senior forward and reigning Conference Player of the Week Aaron Samuel (Stratford, CT), the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team was edged at Keene State, 78-77, in a Little East Conference contest on Wednesday night. Trailing by 10 at the half, the Colonials put together a second half rally that would come up just short. With the loss, WestConn dropped to 14-8 overall and 8-5 in league play, while the Owls improved to 16-7 and 11-3.

Junior forward Tracy Cleckley Jr. (Rosedale, NY) and rookie guard Ahmod Privott (Middletown, CT) added 12 points apiece for the Colonials, while senior guard Geary McLeod (New London, CT) netted 11.

Ty Nichols paced the Owls with game-highs of 21 points and seven assists which included four three-pointers.

The hosts finished a red-hot 50% (15-of-30) from beyond the arc, while the visitors went just 26.1% (6-of-23). The game was close to start before the Owls reeled off a 10-0 run late in the opening half en route to lead 40-30 at the break.

The gap widened to as many as 16 before the Colonials picked up the defensive tenacity as they applied full-court pressure throughout the final 10 minutes of play. Samuel would eventually drive down the lane and find junior forward Fenton Bradley Jr. (Mansfield, CT) cutting baseline for the two-handed dunk, shrinking the deficit to 64-61 with 5:29 left on the clock.

However, the Colonials would not get any closer until Privott caught an inbounds pass from McLeod and sank a trifecta from the left wing with two seconds remaining to round the scoring out at 78-77. The Owls quickly launched the ball down the floor to an open man who dribbled out the final seconds.