February 5, 2011

Central Wins Sixth Straight and Sweeps Trip to Western Pennsylvania for First Time Since 2001-02

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team won its sixth straight game on Saturday night, winning 80-58 on the road at Robert Morris. The win gives the Blue Devils a sweep of the Western Pennsylvania trip for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Central topped St. Francis (PA) on Thursday night. The win is the first for the Blue Devils at Robert Morris since the 2003-04 season. With the victory the Blue Devils improve to 16-7 overall and 9-3 in Northeast Conference play. They have won 12 of their last 14 games.

Junior Ken Horton posted his fourth career game with 30 or more by posting a game-high 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds, good for his eighth double-double of the season and fifth in the last six games. Senior Shemik Thompson added 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and five steals in the victory for Central.

The Blue Devils trailed 5-2 but ran off a 12-0 run over the next six minutes to build a 14-5 lead. The Colonials answered with a 9-5 run and the Blue Devils managed just one field over the next five minutes. They led 19-14 with 7:47 to play before the break before an offensive rebound and layup from Horton made it 21-14.

Horton scored eight straight Blue Devil points and freshman Terrell Allen hit a bucket underneath and the Blue Devils led by 10.

After Robert Morris cut it to five, a Chris Baskerville basket made it 33-25 with under a minute to play before the break. RMU scored five straight in the final minute and the Blue Devils led 33-30 at the half.

Central hit 12-of-25 in the half, but didn't make a three. They were 9-of-10 from the line and outrebounded the Colonials 19-16. RMU hit only 12-of-31 from the field and 3-of-10 from three. The two teams combined for 19 turnovers, with 10 coming from the Blue Devils.

Robert Morris scored the first five points of the second half and ran their run to 10-0 to take a 35-33 lead. Two free-throws from Horton and his first three of the game made it 38-35 in favor of the Blue Devils.

Four straight points from senior Shemik Thompson made it 46-40. Junior Robby Ptacek hit four straight free-throws to make it 50-42. The the lead down to three, Ptacek converted a four-point play to make it 55-48. The lead reached nine after a pair of free-throws from freshman De'Angelo Speech. The Blue Devils streak of points from the line reached eight after a pair for Thompson and the lead was 62-48 with 6:59 on the clock. After the Ptacek four-point play the Blue Devils used an 11-0 run to turn a three point lead into the 12-point lead.

The lead reached 19, 73-54, after buckets from Ptacek, Thompson and Horton. The baskets stopped a streak of 13 straight points from the line for the Blue Devils. It was 76-54 after a three from Horton.

The Blue Devils hit 31-of-35 from the free-throw line in the victory, the third straight game when they have hit at least 27 free-throws in the victory. Central is 93-for-114 from the free-throw line in the last three games, good for 82 percent.

Ptacek added 12 points and five rebounds. Horton hit 11-of-12 from the line, and Thompson was 6-of-6. Speech finished the game with nine points, 7-of-8 from the line, to go along with four rebounds and an assist.

Central returns to action on Wednesday hosting Bryant beginning at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by the NEC and is available on MSG+, Fox College Sports Atlantic and on Cox Sport Television on tape delay at 9 p.m.