February 17, 2011

Blue Devils Win 18th of the Season, Top Sacred Heart 57-56

Junior Ken Horton scored 18 points, 14 in the second half, as the Central Connecticut men's basketball team topped Sacred Heart 57-56 at home on Thursday night. With the win Central improves to 18-8 overall and 11-4 in Northeast Conference play. The Blue Devils are 11-1 at home this season and play again in Detrick Gym on Saturday against Quinnipiac at 3:30 p.m.

Horton's 18 points mark the 21st straight game in which he has scored double-figures. He moves into 13th place all-time in scoring for the Blue Devils, passing former Blue Devil Ron Robinson. He now has 1,325 career points.

The Blue Devils won for the 14th time in the last 17 games and held on to second place in the league. Long Island topped Wagner in overtime and remains in first at 13-2. Quinnipiac won at Bryant and is in third alone with a 10-5 mark. They come to Detrick Gym on Saturday with second place in the league on the line. The Bobcats won the earlier meeting this season between the two teams.

Junior Vince Rosario came up big off the bench for the Blue Devils. Entering the game he had made just four of his last 21 threes, but he drained 3-of-5 attempts on Thursday to help Central come away with the victory. His nine point effort were his most points in a game since a 14-point effort over Army in the second game of the season.

Central made 9-of-19 from three in the game, but struggled from the free-throw line hitting only 6-of-12. They entered the game 10th in the country from the stripe hitting more than 77 percent.

The Blue Devils led by six points, 54-48, following the only three of the game from junior Robby Ptacek. The Pioneers scored five straight points to cut it to 55-54 with 2:30 on the clock. Following a Sacred Heart turnover senior Shemik Thompson scored on a fast break layup to put the Blue Devils up three, but missed a free-throw that could have made it a four-point game.

Up three, sophomore Devan Bailey was called for an intentional foul while trying to stop a fast break attempt. Sacred Heart made both free-throws to cut it to one, but a Ptacek block on the next possession gave the Blue Devils back the ball.

Central turned it over on an offensive foul by Ptacek, giving SHU the ball with 25 seconds on the clock. They waited for the last shot but solid defense from the Blue Devils forced a late shot that was no good and they held on for the win.

Horton led the way with 18, including 14 in the second half. He also had seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of blocks. He hit five threes in the game and was 6-of-10 from the floor. He was 5-of-7 from three. Ptacek added 11 points and four rebounds. Thompson had six points, four boards, four assists and three steals and Rosario had nine points, all from three.

Central returns to action on Saturday, hosting third-place Quinnipiac beginning at 3:30 p.m. in Detrick Gym.