Local standouts Collins, Rodriguez, Johnson take the court in Little East semifinal matchup

Collins (ECSU athletics)
Rodriguez (WCSU athletics)

State rivals Eastern Connecticut State and Western Connecticut State met in the Little East Conference men’s basketball tournament semifinals on Friday night.
A pair of former Bristol standouts went against each other, Jacob Collins for ECSU and Eli Rodriguez for WCSU. The Warriors got the better of the Colonials 92-82.
Collins, a Bristol Central graduate, poured in 19 points off the bench on 8-of-10 shooting. Collins knocked down three of his four three-point attempts, and he also pulled down eight rebounds and blocked a shot in 21 minutes.

Johnson (WCSU athletics)

The 19 points and eight rebounds are both career-highs for Collins, who has been strong off the bench for ECSU. He has shooting percentages of 60.8 from the field and 54.8 from three-point range.
Rodriguez, a Bristol Eastern alum, also had a big night with 18 points and seven rebounds for WCSU. He was 7-of-12 shooting, including a terrific 4-of-6 from three-point range. Rodriguez also had two steals in his 31 minutes of play. Rodriguez started the game for the Colonials. Rodriguez had eight of his points and four of his rebounds in 18 minutes in the second half. 
As if that wasn’t enough, there was a third local who saw time in this game. Legend Johnson, formerly of Sacred Heart High School, played 25 minutes off the bench for WCSU. He had nine points on 4-of-11 shooting, grabbed five rebounds and recorded one assist and one steal.
Rodriguez and Johnson had solid nights for WCSU, but Collins and defending LEC champion ECSU are headed back to the final. The Warriors face Keene State today with an automatic berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament on the line.

Note: There’s a great photo from Nick McAneny on the main page of the ECSU athletics website. Collins is attacking the basket as Johnson challenges him.