CHESTNUT HILL, Mass – The Pine Manor (2-3) men's basketball team held off a fierce comeback attempt by Western Connecticut State (1-3) to earn the 96-91 victory in its home opener on Brunelli Court on Sunday (Nov. 26) afternoon.
All five PMC starters registered double-digit scoring games with guard Jamel Hamans (Meriden, Conn.) leading the way with 21.
· After trading baskets early, Pine Manor was the first team to make it a two possession contest as Rasheed Bell (Dorchester, Mass.) made a layup five minutes in to give the Gators a 9-5 advantage.
· The Gators would bring their advantage to as many as nine before an Evan Curtin (Portland, Conn.) three at the 8:50 mark gave the Colonials their first lead since the opening minutes.
· However, the hosts were able to quickly regain the lead and carry a 42-36 lead into halftime.
· Pine Manor opened the second stanza strong establishing their largest lead of the game (53-41), 12 points, on a three-pointer from Hamans at the 16:30-mark.
· Western Connecticut was a tough out the remainder of the contest twice cutting the deficit to one. Once at 71-70 after a layup by Curtin and then again less than a minute later at 74-73 on a Geary McLeod (Meridan, Conn.) three. However, the Gators defense prevailed refusing to relinquish the lead.
· The hosts held on for a 96-91 victory.
· Hamans registered his team-high 21 points with a perfect shooting day from the field. He was 6-for-6 from the field, including a 5-for-5 showing from three.
· Junior forward Joshua Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) had the only double-double in the contest as he scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
· The Gators held the advantage on the boards outrebounding the Colonials 45-32.
· Pine Manor was also more effective inside outscoring Western Connecticut 40-26 in the paint.
FOR THE FOES
· McLeod was the offensive leader of the Colonials as he picked up a game-high 25 points on 8-for-14 shooting.
· Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, Conn.) and Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, Conn.) were also in double figures with 20 and 15 points, respectively. Curtin scored 10 points off the bench.
· McLeod also had a game-high five assists, while Fenton Bradley, Jr. (Mansfield, Conn.) tied for a game-high with 10 rebounds.
· Western Connecticut made the most of its 21 turnovers generating 31 points off takeaways.
· Pine Manor is back in action on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. when it hits the road to take on Johnson and Wales in Providence, R.I.
· The next contest for Western Connecticut is also on Thursday, a 7 p.m. tip at home against Trinity.