The Central Connecticut men's basketball team travelled to Michigan State on Wednesday night and played the Spartans tough on their home floor before falling 89-69. The Blue Devils had 23 offensive rebounds and led by as many as 11 in the first half before dropping their third game of the season.
Senior Ken Horton led the offense with 17 points and he added nine rebounds. Senior David Simmons had five points and a team-high 10 rebounds. The Spartans outrebounded Central just 43-38 in the game.
"We played hard, but their size got to us in the second half," head coach Howie Dickenman said. "I was happy that we didn't turn the ball over and that we did very well on the offensive boards. We won't see a team with their size for the rest of the season and I think we held our own on the boards tonight."
Central had just 11 turnovers in the game, but shot under 35 percent in the game, including under 32.1 percent from three.
With the loss the Blue Devils drop to 5-3 overall on the season. It snapped their five-game winning streak. They continue their road trip on Saturday at Brown at 2 p.m.
Michigan State is now 6-2 on the season.
"We didn't make some shots in the second half and they did," Dickenman said. "I was a little worried about coming into this venue and how we would react, but I was pleased that we were not intimidated by this atmosphere."
The Blue Devils led 14-9 at the first media timeout after Horton hit a three. They were 6-of-10 from the field to start the game, and stretched the lead to 11, 26-15, following the second three of the half from Horton.
After a quick Michigan State run, Simmons had an offensive rebound and put back pushed the Central lead to 28-22. The Spartans would answer with an 8-0 run to take their first lead of the game, 30-28, with five to play before halftime.
Freshman Adonis Burbage hit his first three to push Central back up 34-32, but the Spartans would score the final four points of the half.
Central trailed at the half for the first time this season, 36-34, following a turnover and late bucket by the Spartans. They would never regain the lead.
The Blue Devils started hot, but finished the first half 13-of-32 from the floor, hitting just three of their final 16 shots from the floor. The Spartans were 14-of-36 from the field before halftime, and held a slight 21-20 edge on the boards.
Michigan State built a 47-38 lead to open the second half following a three from Austin Thornton. The Spartans scored 11 of the first 15 points to open the half.
The lead went to 12, 54-42, but the second three of the game from freshman Kyle Vinales cut it to 54-45 with under 12 to play. A Horton put back dunk cut it to 60-49 with nine to play. It was 10, 61-51, after two more free-throws from senior Robby Ptacek.
The teams traded threes, and the second of the game for freshman Malcolm McMillan and the third from Vinales cut the lead to 69-57 with 6:51 on the clock.
A quick 5-0 run pushed the Sparten lead to 73-57.
Horton had 17 points, nine rebounds and five steals before fouling out with 2:14 left in the game. He added three assists. Ptacek had 16 points and was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. Vinales had 11 and added three assists.
The Spartans were led by 20 from Travis Trice who also added five rebounds. Draymond Green added 14 points and nine boards.
Central's McMillan finished the game with a career-high nine points and fished out five assists. The Blue Devils finished the game with more assists (12) than turnovers (11), and had six steals. The had 21 second chance points to just 19 from Michigan State.
Central returns to action on Saturday at Brown beginning at 2 p.m.
July 31, 2012 Men's Hoop Releases Non-Conference Slate
April 14, 2012 Horton's Club Wins Portsmouth Invitational Championship
April 13, 2012 Horton Has Solid Outing at Portsmouth
April 6, 2012 Horton to Attend Portsmouth Invitational
March 1, 2012 Devils Fall in NEC Tourney at Wagner
February 28, 2012 Horton and Vinales Earn Postseason NEC Honors
February 27, 2012 Horton, Vinales Earn NEC Weekly Honors
February 25, 2012 Blue Devils Win Over Wagner; Teams Will Play Again on Thursday
February 23, 2012 Horton's Career Night Leads Blue Devils to Home Win
February 20, 2012 Vinales Earns Seventh Rookie Honor
February 18, 2012 Vinales Goes for 32 in Loss at Robert Morris
February 16, 2012 Men Snap Slide With 65-60 Win at St. Francis (PA)
February 12, 2012 Men's Hoop Falls at Home, 67-59, to Quinnipiac
February 8, 2012 Men's Hoops Drops Third Straight
February 4, 2012 Men Slip to 7-5 in NEC Play with Loss at LIU
February 2, 2012 Blue Devils Fall at SFNY on Thursday
January 28, 2012 Men Top FDU 69-62 on Saturday
January 26, 2012 Men Fall in OT at Home vs. Monmouth
January 21, 2012 Central Falls 62-61 at Sacred Heart
January 19, 2012 Blue Devils Move to 7-1 at Home
January 14, 2012 Men Suffer First Conference Loss
January 12, 2012 Blue Devils 5-0 in NEC After Road Win at Mount
January 9, 2012 Vinales Wins Sixth NEC Rookie Honor
January 7, 2012 Men Now 4-0 in NEC, Top RMU by 15
January 5, 2012 Men's Hoop 3-0 in NEC Play After Home Win
January 5, 2012 Men Look to Move to 3-0 in League Play
January 3, 2012 CCSU and CPTV Sports Announce TV Deal
December 30, 2011 Men Drop Fifth Straight, Lose at UMass
December 30, 2011 Men Back in Action at UMass
December 22, 2011 Blue Devils Lose at Home for First Time
December 22, 2011 MBB Hosts LaSalle at 7 p.m.
December 19, 2011 Vinales Named Rookie of the Week
December 17, 2011 Wildcats Hold Off CCSU, 70-64
December 17, 2011 Blue Devils Take On Northwestern
December 12, 2011 Vinales Makes it Four Out of Five
December 10, 2011 Blue Devils Fall 90-80 at Brown
December 7, 2011 Men Play Tough in Loss at Michigan State
December 5, 2011 Horton Named Player of the Week
December 3, 2011 Men Win Overtime Thriller Over SHU
December 1, 2011 Central Opens Big at Bryant
December 1, 2011 Men Open NEC Play at Bryant on TV Tonight
November 28, 2011 Ptacek, Vinales Earn NEC Honors
November 26, 2011 Blue Devils Fly Past Hawks, 92-58
November 25, 2011 Blue Devils and Hawks at Detrick Gym
November 22, 2011 Two Straight for Men's Basketball
November 21, 2011 Vinales Earns Second NEC Rookie Honor
November 19, 2011 Ptacek Shoots CCSU to Home Win
November 17, 2011 Men's Game at UMass Moved to Dec. 30
November 14, 2011 Niagara Falls and a Rookie of the Week
November 14, 2011 Blue Devils Drop Overtime Thriller
November 11, 2011 Men's Hoop Drops Opener
November 2, 2011 CCSU Third, Horton Named All-Conference
October 31, 2011 CT6 Breakfast Postponed to Nov. 8
October 17, 2011 Men's Hoop Begins Practice
October 12, 2011 Speech Captures 16th Blue Devil Run
October 4, 2011 Hoops Season Tickets Now On Sale
October 3, 2011 2011-12 Basketball Tip-Off Dinner
September 13, 2011 Men's Hoop Releases 2011-12 Schedule
August 29, 2011 Horton Among Nation's Most Valuable