Bridgeport, Conn.-Trailing by seven points, 40-33, with 1:07 to play in the first half, the number four seeded University of Bridgeport men's basketball team closed out the opening 20 minutes of action on an 8-0 run to grab a 41-40 halftime advantage over the number five seeded Roberts Wesleyan College Redhawks in UB's Hubbell Gym on Wednesday night in the 2019 East Coast Conference Championship Tournament Quarterfinals. The host Purple Knights would then score the first five points of the second half to take a 46-40 lead which they never gave up on their way to a 92-82 victory.
With the win, Bridgeport is now 17-12 overall. RWC closes out its 2018-19 season with a 14-13 record.
UB moves onto Saturday's ECC semifinals which will be played in Bridgeport, and the Purple Knights will host number one seed Daemen College at 5:00 p.m. Saturday's other semifinal will pit number three seed Molloy College versus number two deed St. Thomas Aquinas College at 7:30 p.m. Molloy advanced to the ECC semis with a 61-60 home win over the University of the District of Columbia on Wednesday. Saturday's winners will meet at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday for the 2019 East Coast Conference Men's Basketball Title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament.
Six players reach double-digit scoring for the victorious Purple Knights on Wednesday lead by senior Eric Rankin (Bronx, N.Y.) with 17 points. Rankin's three-point shot just before the halftime buzzer gave his team the lead for good in the game.
He was joined in double figures by sophomore Hashem Abbas (Nablus, Palestine) with 14 points, junior Bakary Camara (Harlem, N.Y.) finished with a double-double of 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, junior John Middleton (Atlantic City, N.J.) with 11 points plus senior Dennis Green (Bronx, N.Y.) and junior Jose Pabon-Sanchez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) each netted 10 points for the winners.
Freshman Fope Okuyiga of Roberts Wesleyan led all scorers on the night with 27 points, and he was joined in double figures by teammates Justin Vaughn with 20 points plus Peyton McLaurin finished with 10.