Senior Robby Ptacek scored a career-high 31 points as the Central Connecticut men's basketball team opened up the home portion of its schedule with a 67-51 victory over Army on Saturday. Classmate Ken Horton added 19, including four threes, as Central moved to 1-2 on the season.
Army falls to 1-3 on the year with the loss. Ella Ellis had 21 points to lead the Black Knights.
Central led 34-30 at the half, and continued its defensive pressure after the break. Unlike the first two games of the season, when they also led at the half, they held Army to 21 second half points, as the Cadets hit just 8-of-24 from the field and 2-of-8 from three following intermission.
Central forced 22 Army turnovers that led to 27 points. They also dished out 17 assists, including seven each from freshmen Kyle Vinales and Malcolm McMillan. McMillon added four points and five steals.
Ptacek's 31 points were a new career-high. He was 12-of-20 from the floor and 4-of-9 from three. He added five rebounds and a block in 35 minutes of action.
Junior Joe Efese led the Blue Devils on defense recording a career-high 10 rebounds. He added six points and a block.
Central shot 50.9 percent from the field, 27-of-53, and was 9-of-24 from three (37.5 percent). They outrebounded the Black Knights 32-29, including eight offensive rebounds. They made just 4-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Army led by as many as seven points in the first half, 20-13, but the Blue Devils responded with a 21-10 run in the final 11:18 to take the four-point halftime lead.
The Blue Devils led by as many as 17 in the second half, 59-42 with 7:03 to play. After they trailed by seven in the first half, they used a 46-22 run in a 20 minute span to take the 17 point lead.
Ptacek's 31 led all scorers. Horton added 18 and scored in double figures for the 29th consecutive game. The 30 game was the first of Ptacek's career.
Horton's 18 points move him into ninth place all-time on the CCSU scoring list with 1,495 career points. He is five points shy of 1,500 for his career. Ptacek's 31 give him 1,082 in his four seasons, good for 29th all-time. He is seven points shy moving into 28th place, and only 18 shy of reached 1,100.
Central continues a three-game home stand, hosting UMBC on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Following Thanksgiving they will host Hartford on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. in Detrick Gym.