January 29, 2009

Sophomore Ken Horton Leads the Way as Blue Devils Top Wagner on the Road on Thursday Night

Sophomore forward Ken Horton scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Central Connecticut men's basketball team won its second straight, on the road at Wagner on Thursday night, 72-64. Horton had 14 in the first half to lead the Blue Devils to the win. The Blue Devils improve to 10-10 overall and 6-4 in Northeast Conference play with the victory. Wagner falls to 10-10 and 3-7 with the loss. CCSU plays again on Saturday at Sacred Heart. Following Saturday's game the Blue Devils will play six of their final seven NEC games at home in Detrick Gym.

The Blue Devils made six of their first seven shots from the field and led 17-13 with 11:12 on the clock. They also turned the ball over seven times in the first nine minutes of the game. A three by Horton made it 20-13 and gave him 14 of the first 20 points for the Blue Devils. The run reached 11-0 on a pair of free-throws by sophomore Aaron Hall and the lead was 22-13.

Wagner scored four straight points to cut the lead to 22-17 but Central Connecticut answered with a 9-3 run over the next three and a half minutes to take a 31-20 lead with 3:19 on the clock. Six straight points from senior Marcus Palmer helped fuel the run, including a pair of free-throws and two baskets in the paint.

Central Connecticut ended the half scoring 11 of the final 16 points to take a 38-25 lead at the break. They hit 12-of-19 shots from the field and 4-of-8 from three, but turned the ball over nine times. Horton led the way with 14 points while Palmer added eight. Freshman Robby Ptacek had four assists before the break.

Wagner shot just 10-of-28 from the field and 2-of-6 from three in the half, and had 10 turnovers which led to 12 Blue Devil points. they had just five assists on 10 baskets while the Blue Devils posted nine assists on their 12 baskets.

Central Connecticut turned the ball over on five of its first six possessions of the second half, but also scored the only basket of the first four minutes and led 40-25.

With the score 44-34 in favor of the Blue Devils Wagner head coach Mike Deane was given a pair of technical fouls and ejected from the game. Horton hit 3-of-4 free-throws and with just over 13 minutes to play in the game it was 47-34. Wagner responded with six of the next eight points to make it 49-41.

The Blue Devils answered, and after the Seahawks cut it to seven they scored nine straight points to stretch the lead to 60-44 with 7:32 on the clock. In the run junior Joe Seymore scored five and sophomore Shemik Thompson had four. The exclamation point of the run came on a dunk by Horton and he was fouled hard. CCSU scored four straight in thirty seconds following the foul.

A 10-1 run by the Seahawks cut it to 61-54 with under five minutes to play in the half. Following a Horton basket Wagner scored and then got the offensive rebound on a missed free-throw and made the basket to cut it to 63-58. A pair of free-throws by Seymore made it 65-58 but Wagner hit a three their next time down the floor to make it a four point game.

The Blue Devils led 67-61 at 2:46 but the Seahawks hit three straight free-throws to make it 67-64 with just over a minute to play. Seymore make a bucket under the basket to make it 69-64 and following a Wagner miss Thompson hit two free-throws to make it 71-64 with 23.3 seconds on the clock.

Horton led the way with 23 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and a pair of assists. Thompson and Seymore each had 14 and Palmer had 11 on 3-of-3 shooting from the field. Thompson also grabbed eight rebounds and had four assists and two steals.

The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart. Fans can listen to the game live on CCSUBlueDevils.com and also on the CCSU ESPN Radio Network on ESPN Radio 1410 in Hartford and ESPN Radio 1300 in New Haven.