CHICOPEE, Mass. – An early 10-0 run from Western Connecticut State put the Elms College men's basketball team in a hole they would never dig out of in an 87-65 loss to the Colonials in Picknelly Arena on Monday night.
Elms (0-5) led 7-6 when WestConn (3-2) used the run to build a 16-7 lead with under 14 minutes to play in the first half. The Blazers cut the deficit down to four at 18-14 but couldn't keep pace with the sharp-shooting Colonials. WestConn shot 64.7 percent (22-of-34) from the field in the first half to build a 50-36 lead at the break.
The Blazers scored the first four points of the second half to trail 50-40, but the Colonials responded with another 10-0 run to take a 20-point lead, 60-40, and led comfortably for the remainder of the game.
Pablo Ortiz (Newington, Conn.) led all scorers with 23 points in the game. He went 8-of-13 from the field and hit 6-of-9 from 3-point range. Tyler Barney (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) added 14 points and four assists off the bench for the Blazers, and Michal Ohradka (Feeding Hills, Mass.) finished with 13 points. Justin Feliciano (Springfield, Mass.) matched game-highs with five assists and six rebounds.
Ronald Jefferson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led Western Connecticut with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and went 4-for-4 at the free throw line. Fenton Bradley, Jr., added 14 points off the bench for the Colonials and Shea Tracy (New Britain, Conn.) finished with 11 points and three assists. Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, Conn.) chipped in with eight points, six rebounds and five assists for the visitors.
Western Connecticut shot 55.7 percent from the field for the game and held the Blazers to 38.6 percent shooting. Elms hit 14-of-31 (45.2 percent) from long range, but it wasn't enough to overcome large shooting, rebounding, and turnover discrepancies. The Colonials out-rebounded Elms 38-30 and out-scored the Blazers 14-4 in second-chance points. WestConn also held a 26-15 advantage in turnovers, leading to a 30-6 lead in points off turnovers.
Elms is back in action tomorrow night, visiting Fitchburg State with tip-off set for 5:30 p.m. The Colonials will visit Trinity (CT) on Nov. 28.