The Central Connecticut men's basketball team dropped to 18-11
overall and 11-7 in Northeast Conference play with a 86-72
loss on the road at Long Island on Saturday. The loss is the third
straight and the fourth in the last five games for the Blue
Devils. The Blue Devils will be the fourth seed in the upcoming
NEC Tournament, and will host fifth seed St. Francis (NY) on
Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Detrick Gym.
Long Island outscored the Blue Devils 52-36 in the second half
of the game on Saturday. They finish the regular season 24-5
overall and 16-2 in league play. They will be the tournament's top
seed beginning Thursday night and will play at home as long as they
keep winning in the tournament.
Horton led the Blue Devils in scoring with 23 points. He hit
five threes in the game and had 14 at halftime. He added 10
rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season.
The game was tied at nine, before the Blackbirds used an 8-0
run to build a 17-8 lead. Central answered, fueled by six straight
points from junior Chris
Baskerville. They held a 22-21 lead after a jumper from
The Blue Devils held a slim 36-34 advantage at the half, after
finishing the period with a 23-13 run over the final 10 minutes.
They hit only 3-of-13 to start the game but finished the half
making 11-of-16 and outscoring the Blackbirds by 10. Horton led
all scorers at the break with 14 points. He hit four threes.
Central held Long Island to 12-of-33 shooting in the half, but
Long Island outrebounded the Blue Devils 25-13, including 11
offensive boards. Julian Boyd had eight at rebounds at the break,
including four on the offensive end.
Central turned the ball over just five times in the first
half, and had 11 assists.
Long Island scored the first nine points of the second half to
take a 43-36 lead. Central missed its first seven shots and turned
the ball over three times in the first four minutes before hitting
its first basket, a jumper from senior Shemik
Thompson. A basket from Baskerville cut the lead to 43-40.
The Blue Devils cut the lead to two, but the Blackbirds
responded with a run and led 55-48 with 9:26 on the clock. The
lead reached 15, 74-59, after Long Island's David Hicks hit three
straight threes on three straight possessions for the Blackbirds.
The LIU run was 14-4 and the lead was 15.
Horton led the Blue Devils with 23 points and 10 boards. He
was 8-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-11 from three. Thompson added
12 and junior Robby
Ptacek had 11 on 4-of-7 shooting. Ptacek is just three points
away from scoring his 1,000th career point in just three seasons
with the Blue Devils.
Central will play again in the first round of the NEC
Tournament at home on Thursday night at 7 p.m. against St. Francis
(NY). The Blue Devils are the fourth seed while St. Francis (NY)
is the fifth seed. Central and the Terriers split the season
series this season, with each team winning on their home floor.
The Blue Devils will play at home in the NEC Tournament for the
first time since the 2006-07 season. Central is 5-1 all-time at
home in the NEC Tournament.
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