Junior Markeys Deans scored 18 points, but the Central
Connecticut State University men's basketball team dropped a 71-53
decision on the road at Sacred Heart on Thursday night. With the
loss the Blue Devils fall to 5-13 overall and 2-5 in Northeast
Conference play. The game was the second meeting in the last five
days for the two teams. Central won 88-65 at home on Saturday.
The Blue Devils return to action on Sunday at noon at Quinnipiac.
The game will be televised live on NESN and on ESPN360.com.
The teams traded field goals to start the game and the lead changed six times in the first 12 minutes of the game. The Blue Devils opened a six point advantage with 7:03 to play in the first half on consecutive baskets by Thompson. Following an offensive rebound, he drove the lane for a running two. After a Pioneer miss, Thompson took a pass from sophomore Vince Rosario and hit his first three of the game, making it 23-17.
After Sacred Heart cut it to two, a second Thompson three made it 26-21 with 5:23 to play in the half.
Back-to-back threes by the Pioneers, followed by a turnover and a third straight hoop gave the home team a 33-28 lead with under two minutes to play. A basket underneath by junior David Simmons and a three by senior Joe Seymore tied the game at 33-33.
Sacred Heart led 36-34 at the half after outscoring the Blue Devils 19-11 in the final seven minutes before the break. Thompson had nine and junior Markeys Deans added eight for Central. They hit on just 12-of-31 shots from the field, including 4-of-11 from three. Sacred Heart made 16-of-35 from the floor and outrebounded the Blue Devils 22-16, including eight offensive boards.
The Sacred Heart lead reached five, but a three-point play by Deans cut it to 43-41. The home team answered with a quick 7-1 run to push the lead to eight, 50-42.
Both teams went almost four minutes without scoring, and a three by Corey Hassan made it 53-44 in favor of the Pioneers with 8:42 on the clock. A quick three from Thompson, his third of the game, cut the lead to six, but Sacred Heart scored four straight to push it to 10 with under eight to play.
Central would get no closer than seven the rest of the way, as the Pioneers effectively ran down the shot clock and held off Central for their 11th win of the season.
Markeys Deans led the Blue Devils on the night with 18 points, just two off his career-high. Thompson added 13 and junior David Simmons had eight. Deans added seven rebounds to lead Central.
The Blue Devils return to action on Sunday at 12 noon at Quinnipiac. The game can be seen live on NESN, as well as online at ESPN360.com.