Western tops Eastern in Overtime Thriller behind 48 from DaQuan Brooks

BOX SCORE

DANBURY, CT (Feb. 7) — Senior DaQuan Brooks (Atlanta, GA) scored a career-high 48 points to lead the Western Connecticut State University men's basketball team to a come-from-behind win in overtime over Little East Conference and in state rival Eastern Connecticut, 82-81, Tuesday before a capacity crowd at Feldman Arena.

Senior Mark Redding (Waterbury, CT) also contributed eight points and nine rebounds on the night for Western.

Senior Jamie Kohn (Columbia, CT) led a balanced Eastern squad with 18 points, followed by senior Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) with 17 points, junior Chris Robitaille (Canton, CT) with 16 points, senior Chae Philips (West Haven, CT) with 14 points, and senior Hamilton Levy (Woodbury, CT) who added 12 points.

Both teams started out fast as they traded quick runs to begin the game. Two minutes into the game Eastern saw its first lead of the game as it jumped out to the early 10-6 lead.

However, Western would answer right back with its own scoring run as the Colonials clawed their way back into the game and then extended their lead to 20-10 with a 16-0 run with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

Following a time out, the Warriors were able to collect themselves and began to chip away at the Colonials' lead bringing it down to a five-point deficit, 22-17 with just under 10 minutes to play in the half.

The Colonials jumped back out to a nine-point lead, however the Warriors again got hot, cutting the lead down to 27-25 and then regaining the lead 28-27 just seconds later with a three pointer from Kohn. Hot shooting helped Eastern maintained its lead, as the Warriors went into the locker room with the 41-35 advantage.

The second half began much like the first half ended, with the Warriors in control, extending their lead to 17 points, 61-44, with just under nine minutes left to play.

However, Western, led by Brooks, chipped away at Eastern's lead and with 5:49 left in the game, it was Brooks who scooped up a loose rebound at half court and drained a three point shot from the far corner, cutting the Warrior lead to 63-58.

Just over a minute later, Redding hit two free throws to narrow the lead to three points, 63-60.

With 2:22 left in regulation, Eastern would extend its lead back to eight, 70-62, with a three ball from Kohn.

Just seconds later Eastern turned the ball back over to Western at the same time a Warrior coach called a time out. After conferring together, the referees determined the turnover happened before the time out and the Colonials were awarded the ball.

Brooks took advantage of this momentum and drained one of his five three pointers on the night, cutting the lead back to four, 70-66.

Following another Eastern turnover, Brooks hit a lay up to bring Western within two, 72-70, with 57 seconds left in the second half.

After two missed free throws by the Warriors, Brooks again drove the lane and was fouled, tying the game at 72-72 after the pair of free throws.

Eastern had one last shot to win it, but the shot by Nedwick rimmed out of the basketball as the clock expired sending the game to overtime.

Overtime proved to be much like the final minutes of regulation with both teams matching each other offensively.

With 1:15 left in the overtime, Brooks hit one of two free throws to put Western up 80-79.

Both teams traded empty possessions until Eastern hit a close range jumper, regaining the lead 81-80 with just over four seconds left.

Following time outs by both coaches to discuss strategy, Western in-bounded the ball to Brooks who raced the length of the floor as the seconds ticked away.  The Eastern defenders collapsed on Brooks as he drove toward the basket, but dished the ball to senior Gary Robinson (Torrington, CT) for an easy lay in as time expired lifting the Colonials to the one-point victory.

For the game, Eastern held a 40-36 advantage in rebounds, while Eastern claimed an 18-14 edge in assists.  Western finished the game shooting 43.3% from the floor and 75% from the line, while Eastern Connecticut finished 51.6% and 36.8%, respectively.

With the win, Western improves to 18-4 overall and moves into a tie with Eastern for second place in the conference at 8-2. Eastern falls to 17-5 on the year. 

The Colonials return to action on Saturday, February 11, when they host Little East Conference rival Keene State.  Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00pm.

Newspaper Box Score

WESTERN CONNECTICUT 82, EASTERN CONNECTICUT 81

EASTERN CONNECTICUT (17-5, 8-3 LEC)
Jamie Kohn 8-12 0-1 18; Nick Nedwick 8-19 0-0 17; Chris Robitaille 6-8 4-8 16; Chae Philips 5-7 2-7 14; Hamilton Levy 5-12 0-1 12; Brian Salzillo 1-4 1-2 4; Brandon Yarborough 0-0 0-0 0; Tyler Hundley 0-0 0-0 0; Brandon Jones 0-0 0; Joe Ives 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-64 7-19 81.

WESTERN CONNECTICUT (18-4, 8-3 LEC)
DaQuan Brooks 13-28 17-22 48; Mark Redding 3-5 2-2 8; Michael Jensen 2-5 0-0 6; Gary Robinson 2-6 0-0 5; Ryan Pelletier 2-4 0-0 5; Luis Bridtter 2-3 0-2 4; Michael Kennedy 2-6 0-0 4; Shawn Mobilio 0-0 2-2 2; James Barnes 0-2 0-0 0; Robert Bentil 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 26-60 21-28 82.

Eastern Connecticut...........   41   31    9  -   81
Western Connecticut...........   35   37   10  -   82

3-point goals--Eastern Connecticut 8-15 (Jamie Kohn 2-3; Chae Philips 2-2; Hamilton Levy 2-2; Brian Salzillo 1-3; Nick Nedwick 1-5), Western Connecticut 9-25 (DaQuan Brooks 5-13; Michael Jensen 2-5; Gary Robinson 1-4; Ryan Pelletier 1-3). Fouled out--Eastern Connecticut-Hamilton Levy; Nick Nedwick, Western Connecticut-None. Rebounds--Eastern Connecticut 36 (Chris Robitaille 9), Western Connecticut 40 (Mark Redding 9). Assists—Eastern Connecticut 18 (Nick Nedwick 5), Western Connecticut 14 (DaQuan Brooks 4). Total fouls--Eastern Connecticut 25, Western Connecticut 21. Technical fouls--Eastern Connecticut-None, Western Connecticut-None. A-1027