The Central Connecticut men's basketball season came to an end
on Thursday night with a 71-63 loss at second seed Robert Morris in
the quarterfinal round of the Northeast Conference Tournament.
Sophomore Robby Ptacek scored a
career-high 26 points in the game for Central, which finishes the
season 12-18 overall with the loss. The Blue Devils won seven of
their final 11 to end the season.
Robert Morris climbed out to a 9-0 lead before the Blue Devils finally scored with 14:53 on the clock to make it 9-3. Sophomore Vince Rosario hit a three for the first points of the game for Central.
A Shemik Thompson jumper and a free-throw cut the lead to 18-13 with 8:59 to play. Central hit just four of 14 from the field to start the game, but they held the Colonials without a field goal for over 11 minutes and cut the lead to one. The Central run reached 11-1 on a pair of driving layups from Ptacek, making it 18-17.
Ptacek cut it to one again at 20-19, before the Colonials finally made a field goal to make it 22-19 with 2:25 on the clock. Ptacek made his fourth field goal and scored his eighth straight point for Central to cut it to 22-21 with just over two minutes to play before halftime. After Robert Morris scored four straight from the free-throw line, Ptacek hit a long three, his 11th straight point for Central, to cut it to 26-24.
The Colonials led 28-24 at the half, after the two teams combined for 23 turnovers. Central shot 9-of-20 and hit a pair of threes. RMU shot only 9-of-22 from the floor and hit just two of their final 11 attempts.
In the second half, a Rosario three, his second, cut the RMU lead to 32-29. A Ptacek runner, his 13th points of the game, made it 36-33 with 15:49 to play.
After Central cut it to one at 38-37, the Colonials used a 7-0 run to build the lead back to 45-37 with 12:48 on the clock. A Rosario jumper ended the run and made it 45-39. Ptacek hit another three and junior Markeys Deans hit from in the paint to make it 47-44 with under nine to play.
The Blue Devil run reached 8-1 after Rosario hit his third three of the game with 8:19 on the clock, cutting the lead to one, 48-47. Ptacek hit a pair of free-throws to make it 57-55 with just over four minutes to play.
With the score 60-59, RMU's Karon Abraham hit a long three to put the Colonials up 63-59. Deans answered with a hoop at the other end to make it 63-61, but Abraham hit another three to make it 66-61 with under two minutes to play.
Central was led by Ptacek who tallied a career-high with 26 points. Rosario added a career-high 16 in the loss.
The Blue Devils end the season 12-18 overall with the loss to the Colonials.