January 3, 2011

Men's Basketball Cruises to 92-63 Home Victory Over UMass on Monday Night

Three players scored 24 or more points as the Central Connecticut men's basketball team rolled to a 92-63 victory over the University of Massachusetts on Monday night. The win is the fourth straight overall as Central moves to 8-5 on the season, returning to conference play this Thursday night. Central shot 56 percent from the field and hit 10-of-18 threes in the victory. They also held the Minutemen to two assists and forced 22 turnovers.

The Blue Devils trailed just once in the game, 2-0, and built a 24-point first half advantage following a 17-0 run early in the half. Halfway through the period Central led 33-9 following the run which took only 3:05 off the clock. UMass ran off a 15-6 run to cut it to 15, but the Blue Devils answered before the half and took a 49-31 lead at the break.

During the 17-0 run the Blue Devils hit 6-of-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line and built the 33-9 lead. They hit on 18-31 shots in the first half, including 8-of-13 from three to build their second-largest halftime lead of the season.

In the second half not much changed, as Central led by as many as 31. The Minutemen would not get closer than the 18-point halftime deficit as Central continued to shoot the ball well and forced UMass turnovers.

The 22 UMass miscues led to 28 CCSU points, and the Blue Devils outrebounded the taller Minutemen 35-28 in the game.

Central dished out 19 assists in the game, its fourth straight game with at least 16 assists. Sophomore Devan Bailey led the way with a season-high seven.

Junior Robby Ptacek led the Blue Devils and matched his career-high with 26 points. He was 8-of-14 from the floor and hit a pair of threes. Senior Shemik Thompson added 24, as did junior Ken Horton. The three combined for 74 points, 24-of-38 shooting from the field and eight threes. Horton and Ptacek each added a game-high seven rebounds. Thompson and Ptacek each had four assists.

The game marked the first time since February of 2007 that Central had three players score at least 20 points in a game.

The Blue Devils are now 5-0 at home this season, and are riding a four-game overall winning streak. During the four-game streak Central has outscored its opponents by 17.3 points per game. Their last three opponents haven't shot above 42 percent from the field.

The Blue Devils complete their non-conference schedule with the win over UMass, and move back to conference play on Thursday night hosting St. Francis (NY) at 7 p.m.