Brooks pours in 52 for Colonials
Second-highest individual game point total leads WCSU to win
LANCASTER, Pa. -- DaQuan Brooks scored a career-high 52 points, including 45 in the second half, to lift Western Connecticut State to a 94-84 victory against Christopher Newport in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The total is the second highest in tournament history.
Brooks connected on 14 of 24 shots in the second half including 5-12 from beyond the arc. He also handed out a game-high five assists.
"All it takes for me is to see the ball go through the hoop one time and I get my confidence back," Brooks said.
In the first half, upon his own admission, Brooks was "thinking too much" and was held to just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting, but Michael Jensen poured in 14 points on 5-9 shooting including 2-6 from 3-point range. Jensen finished with 18 points.
|PTS||PLAYER, SCHOOL (YEAR)|
|59||Ben Strong, Guilford (2007)|
|52||DaQuan Brooks, Western Conn. St. (2012)|
|49||Gerald Rice, William Penn (1981)|
Christopher Newport was led by a balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures. Luc Atangana had 16 points and was followed by Nik Biberaj, Conley Taylor and Mike Cherry who each scored 15 points for the Captains. Tra Benefield added a 12 points.
The Captains held their largest lead of the game at 44-36 following a lay in by Benefield with 18:46 left in the game. It ended a 6-0 run to open the second half.
On two other occasions, CNU went up by as much as seven points. Taylor converted two free throws with to put the Captains up 52-45.
Brooks then scored seven consecutive points to knot the game at 52-52, the game's with 12:03 remaining.
CNU built the lead back up to seven points, 61-54 on a follow-up lay up from Biberaj. During that run, Western's big men, Michael Kennedy and James Barnes were were both sent to the bench with four fouls.
The Captains took another seven-point lead, 73-66 after a Biberaj hook shot in the lane with just under six minutes to play.
Western then scored 18 of the games' next 24 points, including 13 from Brooks, to take its first lead since the 11:10 mark of the first half. The Colonials led 81-79 at that point and never trailed the rest of the way, scoring 13 of the games' final 17 points.
Gary Robinson scored seven of his nine points before the halftime and led the team with seven rebounds in 16 minutes of play.
The Colonials shot just 36 percent from the floor in the first half, connecting on 14 of 39 attempts but went into halftime only down by two, 38-36. They flipped the script in the second half, converting on 17 of 34 shots and finished the game shooting 43 percent from the field.