Central Men Drop First Home Game of the Season, 73-63, to Savannah State

The Central Connecticut State University men's basketball team dropped its fifth straight game with a 73-63 loss at home to Savannah State on Monday night. With the loss the Blue Devils fall to 4-11 overall on the season. It was their final non-conference game of the year, and their first home loss. Central returns to action on Thursday night, hosting Quinnipiac at 7:30 p.m. in Northeast Conference play. The game will be televised live on Cox Sports Television.

Savannah State took control early in the game, using a 13-0 run to take a 19-4 lead with 14:10 on the first half clock. Central struggled from the floor in the first half, while the Tigers hit 14 of their first 20 shots from the field, good for 70 percent.

Central cut the lead to 10, 29-19, with just under six minutes to play in the half, but the Tigers continued to shoot well from the floor and scored seven straight to up their lead to 36-19 with under three to play.

Savannah State led 40-26, the largest halftime deficit of the season for the Blue Devils. They shot 16-of-23 from the field, good for 69.6 percent. It was the best shooting first half of the season for a Blue Devil opponent. Central hit on just 9-of-29 from the floor, including 3-of-8 from three-point range. The Tigers outrebounded Central 16-12 and had 12 assists before the break. Central turned the ball over just once in the half, but the 31 percent shooting was their second-lowest percentage in the first half this season.

The Blue Devils cut the lead to 11 to begin the second half, 43-32. But Savannah State responded with an 8-0 run, including a pair of threes, to stretch it to 51-32.

Trailing by 17, 56-39, the Blue Devils used a 14-6 run over a four-minute span to cut the lead to 62-53 with 6:38 on the clock. Four straight free-throws by junior David Simmons cut the lead to 64-57.

Simmons led the offense with a career-high 22 points in the game. Junior Markeys Deans, who had just three points in the first half, finished the game with 20 points. It was his career-high. The two combined to shoot 15-of-20 from the field and had 42 of the Blue Devils' 63 points in the loss.

Savannah State was led by Tracy Rankins who had a game-high 25 points. They improve to 6-12 overall with the victory.

The Blue Devils return to action on Thursday night, hosting Quinnipiac beginning at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised on Cox Sports Television.