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Men's Basketball: Warriors Spot WPI First 15 Points, Rally to Win Tournament

Men's Basketball: Warriors Spot WPI First 15 Points, Rally to Win Tournament

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Eastern Connecticut State University senior Tarchee Brown (Rockville) was named Most Valuable Player as the Warriors defeated host WPI, 78-68, in the championship game of the Ted Coghlin Memorial Men's Basketball Tournament Saturday afternoon in Harrington Auditorium.

The loss is the first in the three-year-old tournament for WPI (1-1) after the Warriors (2-0) regrouped from an initial 15-0 deficit. In Friday's openers, Eastern defeated Dean College and WPI routed Maine-Farmington.

Brown posted game-bests of 20 points, eight assists and six rebounds Friday night and added 14 points and five rebounds against the Boynton Hillers in Saturday's title game.

First-year Keene State sophomore transfer Jake Collagan (Wethersfield) exploded for 26 points in 27 minutes off the bench for Eastern. Sophomore Carlos Gonzalez (Springfield, MA) delivered 15 points, including a 10-for-10 performance at the free throw line, and handed out seven assists.  

Sophomore Jake Wisniewski  and freshman Reid Walker combined for 25 of the Engineers points while Walker came up a rebound short of his first double-double.

The Engineers, who defeated Eastern by 14 points in last year's season-opener, were up 15-0 before Collagan – who sank two key jumpers late in Friday's opening win -- hit a layup to get the guests on the board. The Warriors began to whittle the deficit and were down 35-30 at the break.

Brown's layup and a 3-pointer by senior Kendall Marquez (Willimantic) evened up the score at 35-35 nearly two minutes into the second. After two more ties, Eastern took the lead for the remainder of the game when sophomore Jake McCarthy (Berlin) hit a layup at 16:08. Wisniewski's layup and a free throw by senior Chris Rodgers  cut the guests lead to one at 13:49.

Collagan pushed the lead to 13 twice down the stretch before the teams decided on 10.

The Warriors enjoyed a 27-15 margin in points off turnovers and 42-23 cushion in bench points. WPI held the advantages in the paint (40-34) and second chance points (12-4).

Eastern visits Connecticut  College Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

Game account courtesy of WPI Sports Information.