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Men's Hoops Fall in Overtime at Western Connecticut, 98-95

Men's Hoops Fall in Overtime at Western Connecticut, 98-95
DANBURY, Conn. - The Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) men's basketball team came all the way back from a 25-point deficit to defeat the University of Saint Joseph (USJ), 98-95, in an overtime thriller in front of an announced crowd of 527 at Feldman Arena on Wednesday night.
 
The Colonials (8-4) were led by senior guards Geary McLeod (New London, Conn.) and Aaron Samuel (Stratford, Conn.) as they scored 28 and 23 points, respectively, in the victory.  Samuel gathered a game-high 16 rebounds to register his third double-double of the season. Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, Conn.) added 19 points for the hosts, while Tracy Cleckley, Jr. (Rosedale, N.Y.) came off the bench to add 14 markers for WCSU.
 
It was Cleckley, Jr. that canned a three-pointer from the top of the arc, with 0.7 seconds remaining in regulation that catapulted the Colonials into the extra period.
 
The Blue Jays (8-5) raced out to a 16-0 lead in the opening minutes of the contest and led by as many as 25 points, 29-4, following a three-pointer by freshman Brad Landry (Wallingford, Conn.) with 11:56 still remaining in the first half.
 
The Colonials stepped up their full-court defensive pressure and were able to draw within eight points, 43-35, after Cleckley, Jr. buried one from beyond the arc with 2:26 left before intermission.
 
The Blue Jays scored the final six points of the first half and went into the locker room with a 49-35 advantage. They led for nearly the entire game, until Cleckley, Jr.'s off balance three-pointer knotted the game at 89-89 with under a second left on the scoreboard.
 
In overtime, McLeod, who connected on 11-of-12 attempts from the floor on Wednesday, hit a runner in the lane to give WCSU its first lead pf the game, 91-89, just seven seconds into the extra frame. The hosts would go on to outscore USJ 9-4 over the final five minutes to finish off the 98-95 come-from-behind victory.
 
Three of the visitors' starting five scored 74 of their total points with freshman Chris Childs (Bronx, N.Y.) and freshman Noreaga Davis (Bridgeport, Conn.) each netting 25 points, while classmate Delshawn Jackson, Jr. (Hartford, Conn.)  contributed 24 points. Davis yanked down a team-high 11 rebounds to post his first career double-double in the loss.
 
Western Connecticut finished the night with a 36-8 bench-scoring advantage and converted 10 more points, 21-11, than the Blue Jays off of turnovers.
 
Up Next
Saint Joseph returns back home and plays host to Lesley College inside the O'Connell Center on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 p.m. in West Hartford. The Colonials are also back in action next on Saturday when they get back to Little East Conference action on the road at Castleton for a 3:00 p.m. tilt.
 
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