Men's Basketball Almost Pulls Off Stunner on the Road at Dayton on Tuesday Night

Central Connecticut had a chance to win in the final seconds but a three-point shot from senior Markeys Deans rimmed out and Dayton held on for a 63-61 win on Tuesday night. Deans finished with a career-high 22 points in the loss, and the Blue Devils drop to 4-4 overall on the season. They return to action on Saturday night at Albany at 7 p.m.

Central led 29-23 at the half, and shot 12-of-26 from the field before the break. The Blue Devils committed only five turnovers and had seven assists before the break.

Deans had nine points before the break and hit 4-of-7 from the floor. He also added four rebounds. Junior Ken Horton added eight points and also hit on 4-of-7 from the field. Central, however, hit only 3-of-7 from the free-throw line.

Central held the Flyers to 7-of-22 shooting from the field, only 31.8 percent. They were 3-of-11 from three and turned the ball over 10 times before halftime.

Central's lead reached nine points at 34-25, but an 8-0 run by Dayton cut the lead to 34-33. A basket by Deans, his second of the half, made it 36-33 with 15:51 to play in the second half.

Down 42-40, a three-point play from junior Robby Ptacek gave the Blue Devils a 43-42 lead with 10:53 on the clock. The Central run reached 9-0 on a fast break basket from Ptacek and the Blue Devil lead was 49-42 with 7:42 to play.

With a 52-44 lead, the Flyers answered with nine quick points to take a 53-52 lead with under five minutes to play. Deans scored his 20th to give Central a 54-53 lead before a pair of Flyer free-throws made it 55-54.

Deans scored a new career-high with his 22nd point and it gave the Blue Devils a 59-57 lead with two minutes on the clock.

Down two with under a minute to play, the Blue Devils forced a Flyer turnover by then turned the ball over and had to foul with 19.9 seconds on the clock. After Dayton hit two free-throws to make it 63-59, freshman De'Angelo Speech it two free-throws to make it 63-61. Dayton turned the ball over on its next possession but Deans missed a three as time ran out and Dayton held on the the 63-61 win.

Central finished the game with 18 assists and only 11 turnovers. They forced 20 Dayton turnovers that led to 15 Central points. The Blue Devils held a 30-22 advantage on points in the paint. Deans added eight rebounds to his 22 points.

The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday night on the road at Albany at 7 p.m. Following that game Central will return home on Dec. 19 for the start of a six-game home stand.