Hartford, Conn. – Junior guard Tarchee Brown (Rockville, Conn.) scored a game-high 24 points, including 17 in the second half, and added seven rebounds and four assists to lead the visiting Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors to a 72-65 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in the finals of the 2016 Trinity College Men’s Basketball Holiday Invitational this afternoon at Oosting Gymnasium. Trinity falls to 6-5 with its first loss in three games, while the Warriors win their third game in a row and their sixth straight against the Bantams.
Eastern Connecticut led for the majority of the second half but never by more than six points, taking its largest lead before the break at 24-18 on a drive by junior guard Collin Jordan (Cheshire, Conn.) with 7:38 on the clock. Trinity senior co-captain C/F Ed Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y.) made a pair of free throws with 34 seconds left to pull the home team to within two at 32-30 at halftime. The squads were fairly even statistically through the first 20 minutes except from long range, as the Warriors sank five of 10 attempts and Trinity missed all five of its tries.
Trinity came storming out of the locker room and scored the first 10 points of the second half, as Ogundeko scored six of the 10 including a jumper just over three minutes after intermission to give the Bantams a 40-32 lead. After a bucket inside by Bantam sophomore forward Connor Merinder (North Andover, Mass.) made the score, 47-40, in Trinity’s favor, Eastern Connecticut exploded with a 14-0 spurt that began with a trey by freshman guard Carlos Gonzalez (Springfield, Mass.) and ended with a Gonzalez layup that gave the Warriors a 54-47 advantage midway through the second stanza. Trinity closed to 54-51 on a traditional three-point play by Ogundeko moments later, but the Warriors scored the next 10 points and led by double digits until the final minute.
Ogundeko finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocked shots, while sophomore Jeremy Arthur (Westbury, N.Y.) added nine points, five boards, and five steals for the Bantams. Gonzalez had 18 points and three steals, while senior forward Hugh Lindo (Enfield, Conn.) contributed 10 points and fivE boards for the Warriors. Eastern shot 60 percent from the field in the second half to finish at 50.9 percent for the game and made nine of 18 three-point attempts while holding Trinity to three treys in 16 tries. Arthur, Brown, Lindo, Manhattanville senior guard Dom Arena (Bronx, N.Y.) and St. Joseph’s junior forward Isaiah Moore (Babylon, N.Y.) were named to the 2016 Trinity Holiday Classic All-Tournament team. Manhattanville defeated St. Joseph’s (L.I.), 82-69, to win the third-place game earlier today.