Men's Basketball Falls on the Road at Savannah State, 53-45, on Monday Night

Men's Basketball Falls on the Road at Savannah State, 53-45, on Monday Night

The Central Connecticut State University men's basketball team dropped to 0-2 on the season with a 53-45 loss on the road at Savannah State on Monday night. The Blue Devils were led by junior captain Shemik Thompson who had a team-high 12 points while sophomore Robby Ptacek added 11 and six rebounds. Freshman Joe Efese finished the game with seven points and four blocks. Central is off until Nov. 28 when they will play Savannah State again in the first game of the Skip Prosser Tournament at The Citadel.

Savannah State took an early 12-6 lead as the Blue Devils struggled from the field to open the game. Central hit just one of its first seven shots from the field to begin the contest. They cut it to 14-13 with 12:27 on the clock, but a quick 6-0 run by the Tigers upped their lead to 20-13.

Sophomore Vince Rosario hit his second three of the game, and fifth of the season, to cut it to 22-18 with 7:30 on the clock. Both teams struggled to score in the final minutes before the half, combining for only two field goals in the final six minutes before the break.

Savannah State led 27-23 at the half, after shooting 12-of-27 from the floor. Central shot only 8-of-22 from the field in the half, including 2-of-4 from three. They hit only 6-of-18 from inside the arc in the half and committed eight turnovers. Efese had five points, four rebounds and three blocks in the half in 16 minutes of action. Rosario led the offense with six points.

The Tigers opened up a nine point lead, their largest of the game, at 41-32 with 8:55 left on the clock in the second half. Ptacek scored the first seven points of the half for Central and 11 straight points going back to the first half of play.

A quick four point spurt by the Blue Devils cut the lead to 41-36, capped by a basket from Efese off a pass from junior Ross Pentland. The Tigers responded, however, and pushed the lead back to 46-38 with under five minutes to play in the game.

Central would get no closer than six points the rest of the way. They cut the lead to 49-43 with a little over two minutes to play, but Savannah State hit 4-of-6 free-throws in the final minutes to seal the victory.

Central hit just 9-of-25 shots from the field in the second half and 17-of-47 from the floor in the game, good for only 36.2 percent. They were 2-of-11 from three and missed their final eight attempts. The Tigers held a 39-28 advantage on the boards.

Thompson led the way with 12 followed by Ptacek's 11. Thompson added five rebounds and three steals. Efese added seven points and his four blocks and four boards. Roasrio ended the game with six.

The Blue Devils will be off until Saturday, Nov. 28 at The Skip Prosser Tournament at The Citadel. Central will again face Savannah State in the first day of the tournament. They will face The Citadel in the second day of the tournament at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday night, Nov. 29.