The Central Connecticut men's basketball dropped its third
straight game with a 58-47 decision on the road at Monmouth on
Monday night. With the loss the Blue Devils drop to 5-8 overall
and 1-2 in Northeast Conference play. CCSU returns to action on
Thursday night at home against Wagner beginning at 7 p.m. The game
will be televised live on Cox Sports Television.
The Blue Devils came out running from the opening tip taking a 10-5 lead at the first media timeout. Sophomore Shemik Thompson scored a pair of hoops and assisted on two more to give Central Connecticut the five point lead. Both teams struggled from the field following the first media timeout and the Blue Devils took an 18-15 lead with 6:47 to go before the break. A pull-up jumper by freshman Robby Ptacek gave the Blue Devils the three point edge.
Monmouth hit just five of their first 16 shots from the field while the Blue Devils were 8-of-24 to start the game. CCSU had five steals and forced nine Monmouth turnovers in the first 14 minutes.
The Hawks used a 7-0 run to take a 22-18 lead with 4:33 on the clock. During the run sophomore forward Ken Horton was called for an offensive foul, his second personal foul of the game. A pair of free-throws by sophomore David Simmons stopped the run and following another pull-up by Ptacek the score was tied at 22.
Monmouth led 30-25 at the half after making three-point baskets on each of its final two possessions. The Hawks outscored CCSU 8-3 in the final 2:48.
Monmouth was 5-of-11 from three in the half while the Blue Devils finished 0-for-5. Central Connecticut made just 10-of-33 shots from the field but turned the ball over only four times. The Hawks were 11-of-26 from the field and had 10 turnovers before the break. They held a 23-17 edge on the boards.
The Hawks hit a three to start the second half to extend its lead to eight but the Blue Devils responded with a 9-3 run to cut the lead to 36-34 with 16:18 on the clock. Following a Monmouth hoop Thompson hit Horton in the lane to make it 38-36, it was Thompson's sixth assist of the game. In back-to-back possessions the Hawks hit three free-throws, after they were fouled attempting a three, and then used a conventional three-point play to take a 44-36 advantage, matching their largest lead of the game to that point.
The Blue Devils held Monmouth scoreless over the next four minutes and cut the lead to 46-42 on four points by senior Marcus Palmer. A driving lay-up by Thompson made it 46-44. A three by the Hawks was answered by a three from Thompson, the first of the game for the Blue Devils, and the score was 49-47.
Central Connecticut went scoreless for three minutes and the Hawks took a 52-47 lead with under two minutes to play. The Hawks made seven straight free-throws to make it 58-47 with under 40 seconds to play.
The Blue Devils were led by Thompson's 12 points, he added six assists. Sophomore David Simmons matched his season-high with 12 rebounds, the team's finished the game each with 36 rebounds. Horton added nine points and three blocks in the loss.
The Blue Devils return home, where they are 4-1 this season, on Thursday night hosting Wagner at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on Cox Sports Television and will also air on the CCSU ESPN Radio Network on ESPN Radio 1410 in Hartford and ESPN Radio 1300 in New Haven.