DANBURY, CT – Trailing by as many as 18 points in the first half, the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team put together a furious second half rally to down visiting non-conference foe Trinity College, 65-62, on Thursday evening at Feldman Arena. Junior guard Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) paced the Colonials with a game-high 24 points, while classmate forward Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) chipped in with 10.
The visiting Bantams placed three players in double figures as sophomore guard Christian Porydzy (South Glastonbury, CT), senior Eric Gendron (Merrimack, NH), and junior Connor Merinder (Andover, MA) finished with 21, 13 and 10 points, respectively.
"It was a great win for us over an incredible defensive team," said WestConn head coach Jason Harlow following the contest. "We challenged our guys when we were down at halftime. I'm proud of the way they responded by coming out strong defensively and not allowing offensive rebounds like we did in the first half. Now we have to focus on our conference opener Saturday," he added.
The Bantams started the game with a 14-5 run capped by a layup from sophomore guard Tim Flynn (Hartford, CT). Shortly thereafter, Porydzy knocked down a trifecta before Gendron scored in the paint, widening the gap to 18 points with 5:49 remaining before the break.
The Colonials stingy defense would translate to an offensive outburst in the second half as they outscored the Bantams, 37-21. Rowe buried a three-pointer from the right wing to knot the count at 45-45 before junior guard Eli Rodriguez (Bristol, CT) drained another from beyond the top of the key, giving the Colonials its first advantage since the opening minutes of play, 48-45.
The visitors struck back to regain a 51-50 lead when Gendron converted a three-point play after being hacked on a long jump shot with his heels on the line. However, the Colonials battled back once again. Junior guard Geary McLeod (Meriden, CT) drained an NBA-range shot from downtown, seizing a 57-56 WestConn advantage with 2:59 left on the clock. Rowe then dribbled right, spun around and sank a step-back three-pointer to make it 60-56 with 1:44 left.
Rowe and McLeod would each knock down critical free throws in the waning moments as the Colonials would hold on to clinch the comeback. With the win, WestConn improved to 2-3 overall, while Trinity dropped to 4-2.
The Colonials return to action for their LEC opener when they meet visiting Southern Maine on Saturday at 3 p.m.