Junior Ken Horton posted his 11th double-double of the season with 27 points and 12 rebounds but the Central Connecticut men's basketball team lost for the second straight game, and the third in their last four, dropping a 75-65 decision on the road at St. Francis (NY). With the loss the Blue Devils are now 18-10 overall and 11-6 in Northeast Conference play. The Terriers improve to 14-14 overall and 9-8 in the league with their third straight win.
Horton again led all scorers with his 27, he added 12 rebounds for his 17th career double-double. It marked the 31st time in his career that he scored at least 20 points in a game.
The loss, coupled with a win by Quinnipiac against Monmouth, means the Blue Devils will be the third or fourth seed in next week's NEC Tournament. They are assured a home game in the first round on Mar. 3.
With the game tied at 20, the Terriers hit back-to-back threes, followed by a fast break layup to make it 28-20 with 8:17 on the clock. A jumper from senior Shemik Thompson and an offensive rebound and putback from sophomore Joe Efese made it 28-24.
The Terriers led 36-30 at the half, and forced 13 Blue Devil turnovers that led to 12 Terrier points.
St. Francis (NY) shot 50 percent from the field in the first half, and hit 3-of-9 from three. They were just 2-of-21 from three in the first meeting of the two teams this season. They had only 43 total points in that loss in New Britain.
The Terriers opened up a 45-36 lead after a pair of threes and a free-throw with 15:57 on the clock. The Blue Devils answered with a long three from Horton, his second of the game, to cut the lead to six. It was the first field goal of the half for the Blue Devils.
Horton heated up for the Blue Devils, and scored 12 straight points for the Blue Devils to tie the game at 46. His run, in which he outscored St. Francis (NY) 12-5, included a pair of threes and two free-throws. A jumper from sophomore Devan Bailey gave Central a 48-46 lead.
The Terriers answered with nine straight points to lead 55-48 with under nine to play. A jumper from junior Robby Ptacek and a pair of free-throws from Horton made it 55-52, but the Terriers scored eight straight points to take a 63-52 lead with under six to play.
The lead 12 as the Terriers continued to get to the free-throw line in the half. They led 70-59 after two straight offensive fouls were called against the Blue Devils with under three to play.
Horton led all scorers with 27 points, and added 12 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils. He was the only Blue Devil to score in double-figures in the loss.
Horton moved to 11th all-time in career scoring for the Blue Devils with his output on Thursday. He now has 1,387 career points, moving past Steve Ayers who had 1,372 from 1979-82.
Central ends its regular season on Saturday at Long Island beginning at 2 p.m. The game will be televised live on MSG. Central is will open the NEC Tournament on Thursday night, Mar. 3, at 7 p.m. at home, against an opponent to be determined.