Palmer and freshman Robby
Ptacek each scored 17 points as an undermanned Blue Devil team
defeated St. Francis (NY) 78-73 on Saturday afternoon in New
Britain. The win snaps a three-game slide at home for the Blue
Devils and improves their Northeast Conference record to 8-8.
Simmons posted his second double-double of the season with 16
points and 10 rebounds.
The Blue Devils, playing without regular sophomore forwards Ken Horton and Tamir Johnson, shot 50 percent from the floor (30-of-60) and dished out 17 assists in the victory. They improve to 13-14 overall this season with two regular season games remaining.
Central Connecticut turned the ball over a season-low eight times in the game. It marked the second time in five games that the Blue Devils had twice as many assists as turnovers at home. The Blue Devils are now 8-4 at home this season. The will play Thursday at home before finishing up the regular season with a game at Quinnipiac on Saturday, Feb. 28.
On Saturday four starters scored in double-figures, led by 17 each by Ptacek and Palmer. The 16 points by Simmons was a career-high, he hit 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line. His pair of free-throws with nine seconds to play in the game sealed the win for the Blue Devils.
With 5:28 left in the game the Blue Devils trailed 68-64 but used a 7-2 run over the next three and a half minutes to take a 71-70 lead with 1:53 to play. They held the Terriers to just one field goal during a five minute span and led 75-71 with 18 seconds to play. After cutting it to two, 75-73, the Terriers fouled Simmons and sent him to the line. He made both free-throws and gave the Blue Devils the four point cushion.
CCSU hit only 3-of-11 from three but hit 15-of-22 from the line in the victory. Sophomore Aaron Hall added eight points and a pair of rebounds. Freshman Kyle Desmarais, who earned his second start of the season, had a career-high five assists in the win.
The Blue Devils will return to action on Thursday night with their final regular season home game of the year. Central Connecticut will host Monmouth beginning at 7 p.m. Prior to the game CCSU will honor its lone senior, Marcus Palmer. The game will be televised live on Cox Sports Television.