Central Men Drop Second Straight Home Game, Fall to St. Francis (PA) Red Flash on Saturday

Central Men Drop Second Straight Home Game, Fall to St. Francis (PA) Red Flash on Saturday

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team dropped its second straight game, falling 59-57 to visiting St. Francis (PA) on Saturday afternoon. The loss drops the Blue Devils to 9-16 overall and 6-8 in Northeast Conference play. Junior David Simmons led the offense with 14 points. Central is off until Thursday night when they play on the road at Mount St. Mary's beginning at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on MSG, Cox Sports and MASN.

St. Francis (PA) scored the first eight points of the game and led 12-2 just after the first media timeout. Central missed their first five shots from the field before junior Shemik Thompson got the Blue Devils on the scoreboard first with 15:21 on the clock. The Red Flash lead stretched to 23-10 with under eight minutes to play before a three from sophomore Vince Rosario cut it to 23-13. It was his second three of the half.

St. Francis (PA) hit 11-of-17 from the floor to start the game and had a 25-13 lead with under seven to play before the half.

The Blue Devils trailed by nine at the half, 30-21, after hitting only 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) from the field. They hit on just 2-of-10 threes before the break. The Red Flash made 13-of-23 from the floor and 2-of-6 from three.

Central cut the lead to five to open the second half on a pair of baskets from Deans. The Red Flash answered with six straight points in the next 1:30 to push the lead to 39-28. A three from senior Joe Seymore, his first of the game, ended the run and made it 39-31.

The Red Flash pushed the lead back to 11, but Central answered with back-to-back buckets by Simmons to cut it to 45-38. The third three of the half for Seymore, a three-point play by Simmons and two free-throws by Rosario cut the lead to three, 49-46.

Thompson hit a three and Simmons hit another bucket underneath as the Blue Devils tied the game for the first time, 51-51, with 3:59 to play. With the game tied at 53, the Red Flash were called for an intentional foul with just 2:11 on the clock. Freshman Devan Bailey hit two free throws and gave Central its first lead of the game, 55-53.

The Red Flash hit a three to retake the lead, 56-55, and following a pair of Seymore free-throws, they hit another three to make it 59-57 with 45 seconds to play. The Blue Devils missed a shot but the Red Flash turned the ball back over to Central with 12.9 seconds on the clock. Central missed a pair of chances at tying the game in the final 14 seconds.

Central was led by Simmons who had 14 points and four rebounds. Deans added seven points and eight rebounds while Seymore had 11 points, including three threes, and Thompson added nine points, six rebounds and three assists before fouling out with 14 seconds to play.

The Blue Devils take to the road for their next two games. First they play at Mount St. Mary's on Thursday night beginning at 7 p.m. The game will be televised live on MSG, Cox Sports Television and MASN. They then travel to Wagner for a 7 p.m. start on Saturday.