BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The No. 19 nationally ranked Southern Connecticut State University men’s basketball team won its first game of the year on Saturday afternoon, a 99-69 decision over Dominican. Desmond Williams led all players with 28 points and 11 rebounds. The win was a career first for new Owls head coach Scott Burrell.
The game was even through the first six minutes, as Dominican held a 12-11 lead after a layup by Gerrel Irvin. The Owls then went on a 14-0 run led by Isaiah McLeod, who had two three-pointers and a layup during the run. McLeod, a freshman, was the second leading scorer for SCSU with 19 points off the bench on 7-of-9 shooting and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
The Charers cut the lead to eight with 6:19 remaining in the first half, but Austin Carter had a dunk on the next possession to increase Southern’s lead back to double digits and the Owls never looked back. Brett Buser converted an and-1 and SCSU went on a 12-2 run to close out the first half with a 54-34 lead.
Desmond Williams had 16 points, six rebounds and four assists in the first half. The Chargers had 13 first half turnovers, the Owls had just two. For the game, Southern scored 26 points off turnovers while Dominican scored just six. Southern also had nine offensive rebounds in the first half.
Dominican started off the second half with a quick 8-2 run led by Travis Cook who had six points in the 2:30 span. Southern Connecticut never let the deficit get closer than 14 points, as Michael Mallory scored a jumper and a fastbreak layup to increase the lead back up to 18. Mallory had a cold night from the floor (6-of-24, 2-of-10 from three), but still managed 14 points and a game high six assists. Carter finished as the game’s third leading scorer with 15 points and nine boards. SCSU outscored Dominican 25-16 in the final 10 minutes of the game, with 10 points coming from Desmond Williams in that span.
Fifty of Southern Connecticut’s 99 points came in the paint, 27 came from the three-point line (9-of-25)
The Owls return to action in the Bridgeport Tournament on Saturday at 7:30 when they face the host team Bridgeport.