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Trinity Men's Basketball Comes Up Empty At Eastern Connecticut

Rick Naylor '16 had two of Trinity's nine blocked shots
Rick Naylor '16 had two of Trinity's nine blocked shots

Hartford, Conn. – The visiting Trinity College Bantams fell victim to an ice-cold shooting spell late in the second half and dropped a 57-49 men’s basketball game against the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors at Geissler Gymnasium this evening.  Trinity, ranked No. 15 in the nation, shot 26 percent from the field, 16 percent from three-point range, and 35 percent from the foul line after halftime, and the Warriors took advantage by closing the game with a 15-2 run for its sixth consecutive win over the Bantams.  Trinity falls to 4-2 with its first loss in five games, while the Warriors improve to 6-2.

The low-scoring affair was tied at 18-18 late in first half, when Trinity scored last six points before the break and forced a Warrior shot-clock violation in the final minute.  Senior captain forward Shay Ajayi (Brooklyn, N.Y.), who missed much of the first half in foul trouble, hit a three-pointer with 6:30 left in the game for a 46-41 Bantam lead and the teams traded free throws, before Trinity missed its next eight shots from the floor and all of its six remaining foul shots over a span of 5:24.  A coast-to-coast layup by senior captain guard Andrew Hurd (Windsor, Conn.) ended the drought but just 32 seconds remained with Eastern Connecticut leading 55-47 and a late Warrior free throw accounted for the 56-47 final tally.

Ajayi and Trinity sophomore Eric Gendron (Merrimack, N.H.) both fouled out and Hurd played just 14 minutes due to foul trouble, as the teams were whistled for 47 combined fouls over 40 minutes.  Bantam junior Ed Ogundeko (Brookyn, N.Y.)  led all players with 16 rebounds and collected three of his team’s nine blocked shots, while freshman guard Erick Santana (Union City, N.J.) was Trinity’s lone double-digit scorer with a career-high 10 points off the pine.  Eastern Connecticut turned 17 Trinity turnovers into 20 points and senior guard Trachone Preston (Enfield, Conn.) scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second half.  Trinity and Eastern Connecticut were both averaging 76 ppg but both fell far short today, combining for a 30.8 field-goal percentage, a 54.1 free-throw percentage, and 25 missed three-pointers in 31 attempts.