February 9, 2011

Horton, Blue Devils Win Seventh Straight With Home Victory Over Bryant

Junior Ken Horton scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Central Connecticut men's basketball team won its seventh straight game, 71-55, over visiting Bryant on Wednesday night. The Blue Devils improve to 17-7 overall with the victory, and 10-3 in the Northeast Conference. Central and Bryant will play again in just four days, at 4 p.m. on Saturday in Rhode Island.

Horton's double-double was his ninth of the season, the most in the NEC. It was the 15th of his career. He added a season-high six blocks and a career-high six steals in the win for Central.

The Blue Devils improve to 10-1 at home this season and have won 13 of their last 15 games.

Central trailed 24-14 just 8:30 into the game after Bryant hit five of their first six three-point attempts. The Blue Devils used a 14-0 run to take the lead, 28-14, and never looked back.

Bryant would score only 13 points in the next 20 minutes of the game and the Blue Devils led 57-37 with 9:15 to play in the second half.

The lead stretched to as much as 24 in the second half, in large part due to the defensive pressure put on by the Blue Devils. They held Bryant to 33 percent shooting in the win (20-of-60), and they forced 17 Bryant turnovers, 11 of them coming in the second half.

The Blue Devils turned the ball over only eight times in the game, and only three times after halftime. They outscored Bryant 40-26 in the second half.

Central did not shoot well, just 38.7 percent for the game, but they hit 22-of-24 from the free-throw line, including 18-of-19 in the second half. In the last four games the Blue Devils have made 115-of-138 from the free-throw line, good for more than 83 percent. They haven't taken fewer than 24 free-throws in any of those four games.

Horton's 23 and 11 led the offense, he was also 5-of-6 from the line. Junior Robby Ptacek added 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals. Sophomore Joe Efese added 12 points and six rebounds, he was an impressive 6-of-7 from the line and added a pair of blocks.

The Blue Devils had 13 steals, their ninth game this season with at least 10 steals. The also had eight blocks, with six of those coming from Horton.

Senior Shemik Thompson had six points, four boards, eight assists and three steals in the win. Junior Chris Baskerville added 11 points, including 5-of-5 from the line.

Horton's 23 points give him 1,280 for his career, moving from 19th to 16th on the all-time scoring list with the Blue Devils.

Central and Bryant will play again on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Smithfield, RI.