Shemik Thompson's Career-High Leads Blue Devils to NEC Home Win Over Sacred Heart

Shemik Thompson's Career-High Leads Blue Devils to NEC Home Win Over Sacred Heart

Junior guard Shemik Thompson scored a career-high 27 points as the Central Connecticut State University men's basketball team snapped a six-game losing streak with a 88-65 victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon. With the win the Blue Devils improve to 5-12 overall and 2-4 in Northeast Conference play. Freshman Devan Bailey and sophomore Chris Baskerville also posted career-highs in the win. Central and Sacred Heart will meet again on Thursday night in Fairfield beginning at 7:45 p.m.

Sacred Heart took an early 5-0 lead, hitting their first two shots from the field. Down 7-3, the Blue Devils scored 10 straight points to make it 13-7 in favor of the home team, with 15:57 on the clock. The run was fueled by a three from junior Markeys Deans and a pair of baskets from Thompson.

After the Pioneers cut it to 13-12, Central used a 15-2 run over the next 4:44 to take a 28-14 lead with just over 10 minutes to play. The 14-point advantage was the largest lead of the season for Central. During the run, Central was led by threes by Deans and Bailey, as well as seven points from Thompson.

They built the 14-point lead on the strength of their offense and defense in the first 10 minutes. Central hit 10-of-14 from the field and 3-of-3 from three to start the game. They also forced 13 Sacred Heart turnovers in the first 15 minutes of play.

Central climbed ahead, 34-20, before the Pioneers scored four straight to cut it to 10.

Central led 43-31 at the half, their largest halftime lead of the season and the most scored points in the first half all season. They hit on 17-of-34 from the field and assisted on 11-of-17 total field goals before the break. The Pioneers made just 12-of-29 from the floor and 2-of-8 from three. Thompson led Central with 11 at the half.

Bailey's second three of the game increased the lead to 46-31 to start the second half. An inside basket by Baskerville made it 48-31 with 17 to play. A 10-2 run from Sacred Heart cut it to 50-41 with just over 14 minutes to play. A pair of threes fueled the quick spurt from Sacred Heart, but a Baskerville bucket and a dunk from junior David Simmons made it 54-41 with 13:22 on the clock.

The Blue Devils used a 10-0 run to take a 65-43 lead with under 10 minutes to play in second half. Thompson scored seven and Deans added a pair of free-throws during the run as Central led by 22. Following a basket by Sacred Heart, Thompson hit his second three of the game to make it 68-45.

The Pioneers would get no closer than 20 the rest of the way as the Blue Devils won their third home game of the season. The loss snapped a string of six-straight defeats. The scoring output was the most for the Blue Devils in a non-overtime game this season.

Thompson led the Blue Devils with a career-high 27 points. It was the most points for a Blue Devil in a game since Ken Horton scored 29 in a game at Fairleigh Dickinson last season. He also had eight assists and was 8-of-15 from the field, including 2-of-3 from three. 9-of-12 free-throws. Baskerville posted his first career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the game. Bailey also had a career-high with 12 points, he added four assists.

The Blue Devils and Pioneers will meet again on Thursday night, this time in Fairfield, beginning at 7:45 p.m.