MEN'S BASKETBALL DEFEATED BY WESTERN CONNECTICUT STATE, 87-79

BOSTON, MA - Sophomore guard DaQuan Brooks (Bristol, CT) came off the bench to score a game-high 23 points to lead the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team over host University of Massachusetts Boston, 87-79, this afternoon in a Little East Conference contest at the Clark Athletic Center on the UMass Boston campus. The Colonials improve to 10-3 overall and 3-2 in the Little East Conference, while the Beacons fall to 3-13 and 1-4.

A layup by sophomore forward Gary Robinson (Torrington, CT) gave Western Connecticut State a 52-37 advantage with 15:31 remaining, before the Beacons battled back into the game. Over the next three minutes, UMass Boston was able to force several Colonial turnovers and convert them into fast break baskets. An 11-0 run fueled by six points from Joseph and a thunderous dunk by sophomore forward Christian Howell Jr. (Dorchester, MA) pulled the Beacons within two points to make it a 52-50 game with 12:30 left to play. UMass Boston eventually cut the margin to a point when freshman guard Jason White (Roxbury, MA/Charlestown HS) completed a three-point play with a free throw to pull the Beacons to within 54-53 with 11:23 remaining, but it would be as close as they would get for the remainder of the afternoon. UMass Boston stayed close at 59-57 with 9:07 to go in the game, but the Colonials answered with an 8-0 spurt, fueled by back-to-back three point field goals by Pelletier to put the game out of reach.

The Colonials raced out of the gates behind the hot hand of junior forward Will Jarrett (Hartford, CT). During the first five minutes of play, Jarrett netted nine points to help Western Connecticut State jump out to an early 13-7 lead. A three-point bucket by UMass Boston freshman guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA/Wayland HS) cut the lead to three, making it a 13-10 game with 14:49 remaining in the half before the Colonials picked up the defensive intensity.

Following a trifecta by freshman swingman Ryan Pelletier (Wolcott, CT) with 4:41 to play in the stanza, the Colonials owned its biggest lead of the afternoon at 38-21 before the Beacons were able to end the half on an 11-6 run, fueled by five points from junior guard Mo Johnson (Portland, OR) and four points from junior forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) to make it 44-32 at the break.

For the Beacons, Joseph led the squad with a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds in addition to a pair of blocked shots and a steal. Johnson finished the afternoon with 19 points to go along with three assists and two rebounds, while Howell Jr. scored a season-high 17 points and grabbed five boards.

Jarrett ended the game with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots for the Colonials, while sophomore center Leroy Mayers (Bronx, NY) chipped in with 11 points and three rebounds. Also in double figures for the Colonials was junior center John Phillips (Hartford, CT) with 10 points, going a perfect 8-8 from the charity stripe.

On the afternoon, the Colonials bench outscored UMass Boston's reserves 48-5.

UMass Boston will be back in action on Tuesday, January 19 when it hosts University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at the Clark Athletic Center at 7:30 p.m. in a Little East Conference match up, while Western Connecticut State plays host to Rhode Island College at the same time in Danbury, CT.