The Central Connecticut State University men's basketball team
won basketball team won back-to-back games for the first time this
season, topping Fairleigh Dickinson 77-67 on Saturday afternoon.
Central led by as many as 19 in the first half, but needed a late
surge in the second half to improve to 4-6 in Northeast Conference
play and 7-14 overall. Junior Shemik Thompson led the Blue Devils
with 24 points in the victory. They improve to 5-2 at home this
Central stormed out to a 15-4 lead, making 6-of-7 from the field to start the game, including three hoops underneath by sophomore Chris Baskerville. Senior Joe Seymore and junior Markeys Deans each had a three in the first five minutes to spark the Blue Devils to the 11 point lead.
After Fairleigh Dickinson cut it to four, 18-14, the Blue Devils scored five straight, including a three from Thompson, to make it 23-14 with under 10 to play before the break. The Central run reached 16-3 following a three-point play by Deans, and the lead was 34-17.
The lead reached as many as 19, but the Knights outscored the Blue Devils 9-4 to end the period and cut the lead to 42-28 at halftime. Central made 15 of its first 20 shots from the field, but finished the half missing four straight shots. The Blue Devils made 15-of-24 shots in the half, good for 62.5 percent, the best shooting first half of the season. Thompson and Seymore each had 10 points at the break, and Central held a 19-12 edge in rebounding.
The Knights opened the second half scoring seven of the first nine points and cutting the lead to 44-35. Seymore's third three of the game made it 49-38 before the Knights scored four straight to ut the lead to 49-42. The Blue Devils struggled offensively, scoring just 11 points over a 10 minutes span while FDU cut the lead to seven.
Following a pair of free-throws on a technical foul, the Knights scored a three-point play to cut the lead to 49-47 with 13:29 on the clock. The run by Fairleigh Dickinson to start the half reached 19-7.
A free-throw by Thompson, Seymore's fourth three and a jumper by Thompson pushed the lead back to 55-47 at the midway point of the half. The Knights answered with a 9-0 run and took their first lead of the game, 56-55 with just over seven to play.
Thompson answered for the Blue Devils with eight straight points. A Baskerville bucket underneath pushed the run to 10-0 and the Blue Devil lead to 65-56 with under four to play.
Central was led by Thompson who had his third 20+ point game of the season with a team-high 23 points. Seymore added a season-high 21 while Deans had 13 and Baskerville added 11.
The Blue Devils return to action on Thursday night at Bryant beginning at 7:30 p.m. They will also play the Bulldogs on Saturday, Feb. 6, at home beginning at 3:30 p.m.