Hartford, Conn. – Six players scored in the double-digits, as the Trinity College men's basketball program saw an offense explosion in its Holiday Invitational Finals and downed Eastern Connecticut, 114-77. Trinity wins its fourth in a row to improve to 8-4, while Eastern Connecticut, which had upset No. 12-ranked Babson last night to reach the finals, drops to 4-6. Babson (10-1) defeated Regis College (1-9), 84-59, in the consolation game. The Bantams shot 61.1 percent from the floor, drained 13 three-pointers with a 42-percent shooting percentage from beyond the arc, and outrebounded the Warriors, 43-27. Additionally, the Bantams snapped an eight-game losing streak against Eastern Connecticut with their first win against the Warriors since the 2007-08 season. Senior co-captain Kyle Padmore (Milton, Mass.) went 9-for-11 from the floor and all four of his attempts from the charity stripe for 22 points, and senior co-captain Nick Seretta (Greenfield, Mass.) did not miss a single basket (7-7 from the floor, 3-3 from three) and finished with 21 points.
The expectation for a high-intensity, fast-paced championship game was met in the early goings of the first half. The teams went basket-for-basket, with the three-ball going down for both sides. ECSU senior Jake Collagan (Wethersfield, Conn.) paced the Warrior offense early, scoring 13 of the opening 15 points and helping the visitors go pound-for-pound with the Bantams. Trinity forced a Warrior timeout at the midway point of the first half, going on a six-point run and taking a 21-15 lead. Back-to-back threes from first-years Steven Lora (Providence, R.I.) and Charles Redd (Peekskill, N.Y.) forced the Warriors to think things over, and senior Jadakis Brooks (Elmira, N.Y.) downed two inside the paint to extend the Trinity lead to 10 points. Threes from Collagan and junior Corey Muckle (Westbrook, Conn.) cut the lead back to four, but a three and an and-one from Seretta put the Bantams ahead, 41-30, with seven minutes remaining in the first. Seretta and Muckle continued to trade baskets, with both players scoring 10 points inside a four-minute span. Padmore drove through the lane for four quick points late in the first half, helping the Bantams keep their ten-point advantage into the break.
Trinity extended its lead to 16 to begin the second half, as junior Colin Donovan (Westborough, Mass.) drilled a three-pointer in the opening minutes of the frame to push the Bantams to the comfortable lead. Brooks and Padmore made back-to-back layups before a breakaway dunk from Padmore forced an ECSU timeout with Trinity ahead, 70-53. with 13 minutes on the clock. From there on, Trinity dominated play, adding 30 more points. Seretta and Padmore led the way, but Trinity's team win saw a handful of great performances. Brooks finished with 15 points and six boards, while senior guard Joe Bell (Manchester, N.H.) finished with 13 points and five rebounds, and Donovan finished with 12 points and seven assists. In total, 11 of the 14 players that saw action scored for the Bantams. Senior tri-captain guard Jake Collagan (Wethersfield, Conn.) paced the Warriors with 21 points, including the 1,000th of his career, while Muckle added 16 points.
Babson's Colin Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) led the Beavers over the Pride with a game-high 27 points in the third-place game. Junior forward Marc Trinidad (Bronx, N.Y.) had 21 points for Regis, and both were named to the all-tournament team. Collagan represented Eastern Connecticut, Brooks, who had 15 points in each game, and Padmore graced the all-tournament squad for the Bantams. The Bantams won their third-straight Holiday Invitational crown while scoring the sixth-most points in program history and their most points since 2003. Trinity will host Anna Maria in its next game on Saturday at noon.