GORHAM, Maine – The No. 24-ranked Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team scored 32 points off turnovers and led from start to finish in a 90-52 Little East Conference victory over the University of Southern Maine Saturday at Warren Hill Gymnasium.
Ranked 15th nationally in scoring differential (+14-6), Eastern (13-2, 5-0 LEC) outscored Southern Maine (1-14, 0-5 LEC) 24-4 over the final nine minutes of the first half to surge to a 29-point, 44-15 lead on the way to its 10th win over USM in the last 11 meetings, and sending the hosts to their 14th straight loss.
Now 7-0 on its opponents' home court and 10-1 away from home, Eastern connected on a season-tying 13 three-point field goals, burying 54.2 percent of its shots from distance. Senior Kendall Marquez (Willimantic), sophomore Jake Collagan (Wethersfield) and freshman Cory Muckle (Westbrook) each contributed three three-pointers, combining on nine of 16 attempts from distance. Marquez' first three-pointer with 8:50 left in the first half was the 100th of his two-year Eastern career, and his game total of 13 points leaves him 43 shy of 1,000 points in his four-year collegiate career.
Leading by 29 at halftime, Eastern scored the first ten points of the second half to move out to its largest lead (39 points) of the game.
In the first half, Eastern outscored USM 20-0 off turnovers and its bench outscored the hosts, 17-4. In the game, Eastern scored 32 points off 21 turnovers and the Warriors' eight turnovers represented their sixth game of single-digit turnovers.
Senior swingman Tarchee Brown (Rockville) of Eastern led all players with 15 points, Marquez adding 13. Off the bench, senior forward Jacob Collins (Bristol) had a career-high 12 points, Collagan 11, senior guard Collin Jordan (Cheshire) four assists and three rebounds in five minutes, junior guard Donny Craig (Waterford) five rebounds and three assists in six minutes, and junior guard Jaysen Nunez (Hartford) a season-high eight points, two assists and two steals in three minutes.
In a battle of the Little East's remaining unbeaten, Eastern visits Keene State College Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in a re-match of last year's conference tournament championship game, won by Eastern, 72-70, after the Warriors erased a 13-point first-half deficit.