Men’s Basketball: Eli Rodriguez finishes up his WCSU career

By MICHAEL LETENDRE

STAFF WRITER

Western Connecticut State University senior basketball guard Eli Rodriguez wrapped up his collegiate career at the end of February and did well for the NCAA Division III squad.

Credit belongs to the young man as his minutes were slashed a bit this season but he stuck it out and made contributions along the way during the 2018-19 campaign.

Rodriguez helped WestConn to a 17-10 record overall, 10-6 in Little East Conference play and a No. 4 ranking in the conference tournament.

The former Bristol Eastern standout averaged 2.8 points-per-game but had decent shooting percentages all-around   despite the limited playing time at 11.2 minutes-per-game.

He’s played in 26 of the squad’s 27 games and shot 44-percent from the field overall and hit an impressive 45.7 clip from downtown.

Rodriguez was an excellent free throw shooter, canning 91-percent of his charity tosses.

His averages include 1.2 rebounds and 0.9 assists-per-game.

One of his best games of the season came against Worcester State as Western won the contest by a 96-84 final.

Rodriguez flipped in 11 points to go along with two rebounds and two assists in the 12-point win.

He went 3-of-4 from the field and canned both three-pointers he attempted.

Rodriguez started the contest against Castleton on Jan. 23 – helping his squad to a 94-62 win.

He played 20 minutes and scored six points off 2-of-4 shooting from three-point land.

Rodriguez also chimed in with season-highs of three assists and three steals over the winning effort.

Also this year, he notched nine points in a 79-74 victory at Plymouth State on Feb. 2 and scored three points in three other games.

Over a 12-minute stint against Albertus Magnus, an 84-79 win by the Colonials on Nov. 17, Rodriguez grabbed five rebounds while dishing off two assists.

And then over his final three games of his career, he earned a starting assignment in each of the outings.

Against Southern Maine on Feb. 16, Rodriguez dropped in a season-high 12 points, including four threes – as WestConn wrapped up a 109-81 win.

Three days later, the senior scooped in eight points on Mass-Boston as Western won the contest by a 97-77 final and in his last game on Feb. 22, Rodriguez went 2-for-2 for five points but the Colonials fell to Keene State, the top seed in the Little East Conference Tournament, 107-80.

As a sophomore at Western, Rodriguez averaged 4.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 23 games – making eight starts along the way.

And during his freshman year, he pumped in 4.5 points and 2.0 rebounds-a-game over 16 games played.

Rodriguez is a Justice and Law Administration major at Western.

Before attending WestConn, Rodriguez was a prime-time player at Bristol Eastern as the shooting guard splashed in 700 points over a season-and-a-half for the Lancers – the 14th most points ever scored in program history.

In 38 career games, he averaged 18.4 points-per-game and kicked in 68 three-pointers.

Currently, Rodriguez is tied for seventh all-time for three-pointers made in program history while draining in a school-tying record six three-pointers in an overtime loss at Middletown back on Jan. 30, 2012.

That was same night he established the school record for points in a game as Rodriguez scored 46 in that losing effort.

The 46 points was four more than the 42 scored by Bobby Jones, who established the standard at Platt back on Jan. 6, 1967.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Michael Letendre, email him at MLetendre@BristolObserver.com.