Horton and senior Shemik
Thompson each recorded double-doubles as the Central
Connecticut men's basketball team snapped a four-game losing streak
with a 74-71 home victory over Niagara on Sunday. The win evens
Central's record at 5-5 on the season while Niagara falls to 3-8.
Horton had 25 points and 10 rebounds. Thompson had 10 points and a
season-high 10 assists. Central plays again at home on Wednesday
night hosting New Hampshire at 7 p.m.
The Blue Devils trailed by as many as seven in the first half, 17-10, but rebounded to tie the score at halftime, despite shooting only 1-of-7 from three in the period. Horton had the lone three before halftime while Niagara hit on 4-of-7 attempts.
In the second half Central took a 50-49 lead with 13:55 to play, and would not trail again in the contest.
With 3:30 left in the game, the Purple Eagles used an 8-2 run to tie the game at 65-65. Horton, who surpassed 20 points for the third time this season, scored five straight for the Blue Devils to make it 70-65. Niagara answered, with a long three from Marvin Jordan just seconds later to cut it to two.
Freshman Terrell Allen scored his only basket of the game on the next possession for Central. Off a feed from Thompson, Allen hit from underneath the hoop to give the Blue Devils a four-point lead, 72-68.
This time it was Anthony Nelson for Niagara who answered with a long three, to cut the lead to 72-71 with 18 seconds to play.
Thompson was clutch at the free-throw line, hitting a pair after being fouled with 15 seconds to play. With the three point lead the Blue Devils did not allow the Purple Eagles to get a good look at a three, and they held on for the second home victory of the season.
Central is now 5-5 overall, and 2-0 at home.
Horton's 25 and 10 rebounds produced his second double-double of the season. He was 10-of-20 from the field. Thompson added his 10 points and 10 assists for his first double-double of the season. He also added six rebounds and three steals. Junior Robby Ptacek had 23 points, including 9-of-9 from the foul line.
As a team the Blue Devils hit on 22-of-24 from the charity stripe, and dished out 18 assists on 25 baskets. They had only 13 turnovers and also had 12 steals, led by three each from Thompson and Horton.
The Blue Devils outrebounded the Purple Eagles 39-29 in the contest, including 15 offensive rebounds. Senior Markeys Deans added eight boards, including four on the offensive end. He also had six points and a pair of steals.
Central returns to action on Wednesday night hosting New Hampshire beginning at 7 p.m.