Rochester, N.Y.-It was not easy as the visiting University of Bridgeport men's basketball team fell behind 20-4 at the start of Friday evening's important East Coast Conference contest at Roberts Wesleyan College, but the Purple Knights fought back to take a 67-62 win and clinch the number four seed and a home quarterfinal ECC Championship Tournament game next Wednesday night in Hubbell Gym. In fact, UB's opponent next Wednesday will be Roberts Wesleyan, as the Redhawks are now locked into the number five seed with Friday's loss. The victory over RWC lifts the Purple Knights' overall record to 16-11 and the team's conference record is now 11-6. Roberts Wesleyan slips to 13-12 overall and 9-8 in the ECC.
Bridgeport trailed the host team, 32-24, at the half, and UB was down 39-32 with 12:08 remaining in the second half before going on a 13-0 that gave the visitors a 45-39 advantage with 7:46 to play which they never relinquished.
Senior Eric Rankin (Bronx, N.Y.) led the Purple Knights in scoring 17 points on the night. Eric was joined in double figures by junior Bakary Camara (Harlem, N.Y.) with 13 points and sophomore Hashem Abbas (Nablus, Palestine) contributed 11 points and a team-best seven rebounds.
Justin Vaughn and Peyton McLaurin led the Redhawks with 14 point apiece, and McLaurin finished with a double-double grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds.
Up next, the UB men's basketball team will wrap up the 2018-19 regular season and close out its Western New York trip at Daemen College on Sunday to take on the conference-leading Wildcats. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. in Amherst, New York.