HARTFORD, CT – Junior guard Ronald Jefferson (Brooklyn, NY) poured in a game-high 22 points to lead the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a 78-73 victory at non-conference opponent Trinity College on Wednesday night. With the win, the Colonials improved to 4-2 overall while the Bantams dropped to 3-2.
Junior forward Fenton Bradley Jr. (Mansfield, CT) contributed 12 points including a key layup and steal in the final minute of play for the visitors.
WestConn was solid defensively as they forced 19 turnovers which translated to 21 points, while coughing the ball up just six times themselves. The Colonials also outshot the Bantams, knocking down 46.9% of their field goals, compared to 38.5%.
The visitors began the contest with a 13-5 run which included a Jefferson long-range three-pointer from the top of the key. Bradley Jr. finished the flurry with a fast break scoop off the glass.
They would extend the lead to 31-26 when rookie guard Ricardo McLeod (Brooklyn, NY) converted a free throw after being hacked while connecting on a running shot off the window. Trinity cut into the lead before senior guard Geary McLeod (New London, CT) came up with a steal that resulted in a Jefferson isolation layup to conclude the first half with WestConn in front, 41-39.
Junior guard Christian Porydzy (South Glastonbury, CT) knocked down a wide-open trifecta from the right wing, pulling the Bantams to within one point, 70-69, before Jefferson answered with a stepback elbow jumper, as the Colonials regained a 71-70 lead with two minutes remaining.
The teams then exchanged turnovers via a pair of offensive fouls before Bradley Jr. swooped down the lane for an up-and-under layup to make it 73-70. He then stole the ensuing inbounds feed and Jefferson would sink a pair of free throws, widening the gap to 75- 70.
Trinity would not give up as Porydzy dribbled the length of the floor and fired home a 25-foot three-pointer from beyond the top of the arc, cutting the advantage back to three points with 12 ticks left on the clock. However, WestConn senior forward Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, CT) was then fouled and calmly swished both free throws to wrap up the game.
The Colonials return to action for their Little East Conference opener at Rhode Island College on Saturday at 3 p.m.