DANBURY, CT - Junior guard Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, CT) canned a pair of free throws with nine second remaining in the game to lift the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a thrilling 59-58 victory over visiting Plymouth State University at Feldman Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Rowe finished with a team-high 27 points to lead the 6-6 Colonials. They improve to 3-0 in the Little East Conference.
"Today was a good way to get back into league play after nearly a month," stated WestConn head coach Jason Harlow. "We squandered a big lead in the second half, but Tyler (Rowe) had a tremendous game and won it for us at the end."
Plymouth State, now 6-6 overall and winless in the conference at 0-3, were led by sophomore guard Jaylen Leroy (Manchester, NH) who scored 35 points, 10.5 over his season average.
Mike Osgood (Nashua, NH) added 17 points and yanked down a game-high 10 rebounds for the Panthers.
The contest was tight for much of the first half with Plymouth State holding the largest advantage, four points, following a lay-up by Osgood with 15:21 remaining in the stanza.
WestConn led by four points with 1:28 left before intermission after Curtin buried a bucket in the paint for a 29-25 lead.
Leroy capped off the first half with one of his six three pointers and the Colonials headed to the recess up, 29-28.
The Colonials appeared to be running away in the second half and led by as many as 14 points, 52-38, following a long three pointer from Curtin with 9:27 left in the game.
The Panthers marched back and Leroy capped off a 20-3 run with another three pointer. The visitors re-took the lead, 58-55 with 2:47 left. It would be their last points.
A lay in from Rashard Rodriguez and Rowe's game-winning freebies capped off the game's scoring down the stretch.
The Colonials play host to Keene State College in a rare mid-week matinee on Wednesday, January 10. The Colonials and Owls will tip off at 4 pm. The Panthers host UMass Boston at 7:30 pm on Wednesday.