DANBURY, CT – Sophomore forward Jauch Green (Hartford, CT) tallied team-highs of 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team fell to visiting LEC foe Rhode Island College, 85-75, on Wednesday night at Feldman Arena. With the loss, the Colonials dropped to 12-11 overall and 4-9 in conference play, while the Anchormen improved to 11-12 and 5-8.
Three other players finished in double figures for Western as junior guard Bobby Bynum (New Haven, CT) netted 15 points, while classmate Marcus Brown (New Haven, CT) and senior Tre'Von Perry (Waterbury, CT) scored 11 points apiece. Rookie guard Chris Farrington (Fall River, MA) paced the visitors with a game-high 22 points, while junior guard Roosevelt Shider (Meriden, CT) added 20.
The Anchormen built a 10-point advantage midway through the first half. Junior guard Malcolm Smith (Old Orchard Beach, ME) – who finished with 14 points and 14 boards – converted a pair of free throws after a technical foul on a Western player. The Colonials cut the lead to 34-29 when Perry drilled a jumper off a feed from sophomore forward Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT). Rhode Island regained its 10-point lead when freshman guard Jonathan Batista (Providence, RI) sank a pair from the charity stripe, good for a 44-34 halftime lead.
The gap swelled to 16 early in the second half. However, the Colonials systematically began to chip away at the advantage. Green tipped in a miss with 6:03 remaining, slicing the margin to 64-61. Once again, the Anchormen countered, building yet another 10-point lead when Shider scurried in for a layup with 3:57 left. Moments later, Rashard Rodriguez canned a corner three-pointer off a kickout pass from Bynum to make it 73-68 with 2:14 remaining. However, that was as close as Western would get as Smith answered with a trifecta from the top of the key that gave the visitors the momentum to close out the contest.
"We played a half game again and it's not good enough. We fought back in the second half but it still just was not enough," said Western head coach Jason Harlow after the game.
The Colonials currently stand in the seventh spot in the LEC standings. They return to action for their regular season finale at Plymouth State on Saturday at 3 p.m. They will then open play on the road for the conference tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday, opponent and time to be determined pending Saturday's results.