|Western Connecticut State U.||University of Southern Maine|
GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore Jauch Green (Hartford, Conn./Cromwell) scored six of his 19 points in the overtime period, including a pair of free throws to give his team the lead with 39 seconds remaining, to help the Western Connecticut State University Colonials to a 102-98 overtime win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a Little East Conference men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at Fifield Court.
With the win, Western Connecticut improves to 6-2 overall and 1-1 in the Little East. Southern Maine falls to 4-5 with the loss and 0-2 in the Little East. It is the second overtime game of the season for USM.
Green was one of five Colonials players to reach double-digits. Green was 6-for-14 from the field for 19 points, adding nine rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Aaron Samuel (Stratford, Conn./Bunnell) led WCSU with 21 points off of the bench, earning a double-double with 11 rebounds. Senior Tre’Von Perry (Waterbury, Conn./Holy Cross) had a 20-point, 18-rebounds double-double, while sophomore Rashard Rodriguez (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) and junior Bobby Bynum (New Haven, Conn./Hillhouse) had 19 points and 10 points respectively.
Junior Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) led USM with a career-high 28 points, canning six three-pointers, while adding four assists and three steals. Senior James Starks III (Miami, Fla./Miami Killian Senior) notched his seventh double-double of the season with 26 points and 17 rebounds. Senior Zach Leal (York, Maine) added 20 points and seven rebounds.
In a back-and-forth contest, Southern Maine made the first surge to grab a modest 51-44 lead at the break. With the game tied at 43 all with 1:54 to play in the opening half, USM used a 7-1 run led by five points from Leal. The Huskies opened the second half on a 10-6 spurt to grab a 10-point, 61-51 advantage, with 16:35 remaining in the game, but WCSU answered back with a 10-0 run over the next three and a half minutes to tie the score at 61-61 with 13:05 to play. Perry had six points in the run for the Colonials.
Both teams continued to battle the remainder of the second half with neither team grabbing more than a two-possession lead. Southern Maine led 87-83 with 2:51 remaining on a three from Starks, before back-to-back buckets in the paint from Perry and Green force the 12th even score of the game 87-87 with 1:43 to play. USM retook the lead on a pair of free throws from Leal with just over a minute to go, but Perry hit a game-tying layup with 36 seconds to go forcing overtime. After Perry’s layup both teams had a shot for a go-ahead basket but neither could convert.
In overtime, Perry scored on the Colonials first two possessions to stake WCSU a 93-89 lead, but USM came back to tie the score, again, 96-96, on a 7-3 run with 1:17 to play. Senior Jacob Littlefield (Mechanic Falls, Maine/Poland Regional) connected on two free throws in the run to tie the score. The Colonials were able to close out the game, however, outscoring USM 6-2 in the final minute as Green was 4-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch.