Trailing by five points with 31 seconds left in regulation, the
Central Connecticut men's basketball team forced overtime at the
buzzer and then rallied to top Fairleigh Dickinson in overtime on
Saturday, 72-67. With time running out, senior Shemik
Thompson took a pass from junior Ken
Horton and scored the tying points to force overtime. The Blue
Devils improve to 12-7 overall and 5-3 in Northeast Conference
play. They won for the eighth time in the last 10 games.
Central trailed by as many as eight in the second half, and with 31 seconds left they were down five. Thompson hit a pair of free-throws to cut the lead to three with 23 seconds on the clock. Following a trip to the line for the Knights, where Briahn Smith hit 1-of-2, Thompson drove the length of the floor to hit junior Chris Baskerville underneath the hoop for an easy bucket that made it 52-50.
With 3.1 on the clock the Blue Devils were forced to foul and Terence Grier went to the line and missed the front end of a one-and-one. Following a timeout, Baskerville inbounded the length of the floor to Horton who stood as his own foulline. Horton passed to Thompson on the wing, who used a head fake and then drove to the basket for the tying basket.
In overtime with the game tied at 58-58 with two minutes to play, the Blue Devils rattled off an 8-0 run in the next 1:19, led five points from Horton and a pair of free-throws from junior Robby Ptacek. Central hit 11-of-15 free-throws in the overtime period to seal the 72-67 victory.
Horton and Thompson each posted double-doubles in the game. Thompson had 22 points and 10 rebounds to go along with five assists. Horton had 23 points and 10 rebounds and added three steals.
Central did not shoot well from the floor, but in overtime hit 4-of-6 from the field and 11-of-15 from the line. They had 18 offensive rebounds but were just 2-of-11 from three.
The win is the eighth in the last 10 games for the Blue Devils. They outscored Fairleigh Dickinson 18 to nine at the free-throw line in the game.
The Knights were led by Grier who had a team-high 15 points and John Galvin who had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.