DANBURY, Conn. - The Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team improved to 9-2 overall with an 80-75 victory against visiting non-conference opponent Mitchell College on Wednesday night at Feldman Arena.
Bobby Bynum poured in a game-high 20 points while Aaron Samuel added 19 to go along with 16 rebounds to lead the Colonials. Elias Rodriguez and Rashard Rodriguez chipped in with 12 and 14 points, respectively.
Hasani Williams paced the Mariners with 19 points while Domenico Santiago finished with 14 points and a season-high 15 rebounds. Geary McLeod came off the bench to add 13 points and five boards in his Mitchell debut.
The contest got off to a fast pace with both teams continuing to trade hoops until midway through the first half. Western put together a staggering 15-4 run to capture a 36-26 lead shortly before the break. Elias Rodriguez ignited the barrage with a long-range trifecta off a feed from Bynum – who also dished out six assists. Jon Mowatt wrapped the run up when he drained a pair of free throws. Mitchell countered with a six-point run, slicing the lead to 36-32 by halftime.
The Western lead expanded to 11 early in the second stanza when Rashard Rodriguez drained a corner three less than a minute in. The Mariners picked away at the advantage, cutting the deficit to just three when Williams connected on a floater with 7:02 remaining to make the count 67-64.
Western retaliated and widened the gap to eight when Tre'Von Perry drained an elbow jumper with just under five minutes left on the clock. The Mariners answered once again, shrinking the lead to three when Alan Morgan sank a mid-range jumper. However, Bynum answered with a three-pointer from the right wing followed up with a pair from the line, leading the Colonials to the win.
Mitchell (0-8 overall) will next play at Yale University on Saturday, January 7 at 2 p.m.