January 13, 2011

Men's Basketball Rebounds with 88-75 Win on the Road at Sacred Heart

Juniors Robby Ptacek and Ken Horton combined for 52 points and the Central Connecticut men's basketball team won for the sixth time in the last seven games with a 88-75 win on the road at Sacred Heart. It marked the first road Northeast Conference win for the Blue Devils who are now 10-6 overall and 3-2 in the NEC.


Central made 10 of its first 13 baskets from the floor and led 21-11 less than nine minutes into the game. The Pioneers scored 10 straight points, including a pair of threes from Shane Gibson, to cut the Blue Devil lead to 23-21 just three minutes later.

The Blue Devils built the lead back to eight but a 16-0 run by Sacred Heart gave the home team a 40-32 lead. The run included four straight threes in a span of three minutes as the Blue Devils went scoreless for a span of over six minutes.

Sacred Heart led 40-34 at the break, and the Blue Devils managed only a pair of free-throws in the final 6:09 of the half after taking the eight point lead. Central started the game 12-of-16 from the field, but hit only three of its final 14 shots before halftime. Central was 15-of-30 from the field and hit 2-of-5 from three. The Pioneers shot 15-of-28 but hit an amazing 8-of-12 from three, including its last five of seven of its final eight threes before halftime.

Ptacek and Horton led the Blue Devils with 11 points each. Gibson had 16 points at the half, including four threes.

Central tied the game at 44 just three minutes into the second half. They scored 10 of the first 14 points in the period. They led 52-48 after a pair of steals and a bucket from freshman De'Angelo Speech. The third basket of the half from senior Shemik Thompson gave the Blue Devils a 56-52 lead.

Horton reached 20 points with his second three of the game and Ptacek made it 63-56 with his second three with under 11 minutes to play. The run reached 11-4 with a pair of free-throws from junior Chris Baskerville, making it 65-56.

The Pioneers answered with four straight to cut the lead to five but a Horton three-point play, a bucket from Ptacek and another from Horton pushed the lead to 12, 74-62. Ptacek hit a three to make it 78-63, it was his 23rd points of the game.

With the lead at nine, Horton hit a pair of free-throws to make it 84-73 with 1:24 to play. A bucket from sophomore Devan Bailey iced the win.

Horton led the offense with 27 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Ptacek added 25 for his fourth straight 20 point game and his sixth of the season.

Sacred Heart made only 1-of-7 from three in the second half. The Blue Devils were 17-of-33 from the field and 17-of-20 from the free-throw line after halftime.

Central won for the 25th straight time when scoring 80 or more points in a game.

Baskerville added a season-best 13 points and hit 5-of-6 from the field. Thompson added 10 while also posting seven rebounds and a game-high seven assists.

The Blue Devils will return to action on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Quinnipiac. The game will be televised live on NESN, and you can listen as always on ESPN Radio 1410 and 1300 and online at CCSUBlueDevils.com.