Following a slow start, the third-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team rode a 22-6 scoring run over the final nine minutes of the first half on the way to a 74-60 victory over top-seeded Westfield State University in the championship game of the 2013 ECAC New England Division III Tournament at the Woodward Center in Westfield, MA.
The ECAC title is the first in men's basketball for Eastern (22-8), which was making its seventh appearance since 1981. The Warriors had beaten Johnson & Wales University, 85-64, in a first-round home contest Wednesday and moved into the championship game for the third time in its last three tournament appearances with a 77-65 win over second-seeded Anna Maria College Saturday at the Woodward Center.
Junior forward Mike Garrow (Terryville) was named tournament MVP after scoring 25 points and pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds.
"It was definitely a battle," admitted Head Coach Bill Geitner. "It was 40 minutes of very, very intense basketball, but I think that our guys knew that that was going to be the case. We had the utmost respect for Westfield. We knew that it was going to be a very physical game, and our guys persevered."