Men Drop Fifth Straight, Lose at UMass

Steve McLaughlin
Steve McLaughlin

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team dropped its fifth straight game, falling 97-65 on the road at UMass on Friday night.  The win is the sixth straight for the Minutemen, who are now 11-3 this season. 

Senior Ken Horton posted his fourth double-double of the season, and the 22nd of his career.  Classmate Robby Ptacek led all CCSU scorers with 21 points. 

The loss is the fifth straight for the Blue Devils, who are now 5-7 on the season.

A quick 13-0 run by the Minutemen gave them a 16-4 lead.  They hit five straight shots during the run, including three threes.  The first bucket of the game from Horton stopped the run.

Trailing by 15, the Blue Devils used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 23-16.  Ptacek scored four straight during the mini-run. 

The Minutemen built it back to 15, but Ptacek hit four straight free-throws to cut it to nine, 37-28, before the Minutemen built the lead back to 47-32 at halftime.  Central hit just 11-of-28 from the field, 39 percent, and missed all three three-point attempts.

Ptacek had 14 at the break, hit was 6-of-6 from the line and the Blue Devils hit all 10 of their attempts.  Horton had six and eight rebounds.  Central turned the ball over 12 times.  UMass shot 50 percent from the field and hit six threes.

The Minutemen opened the second half scoring 14 of the first 19 points and built a 61-37 lead.  Raphiael Putney had eight points in the first four minutes of the half for UMass, including a pair of threes.

The lead reached 28, 80-52, after the fourth three of the game from Freddie Riley.  As the Blue Devils continued to struggle from the field, the Minutemen built the lead to 93-54 with under four minutes to play.  They used a 21-2 run to build the 39-point lead.   

Ptacek led the Blue Devils with 21 points and three assists.  He hit all seven of his free-throw attempts and has now made 25 straight and is 50-for-53 this season.  Horton finished the game with 16 points and 12 boards.  Freshman Shelton Mickell had 11.

Central missed their first 13 three-point attempts before freshman Adonis Burbage made the final attempt of the game.  The three pushes Central's streak to 455 straight games with a three-point basket made, dating to 1996.

The Blue Devils return to Northeast Conference action next Thursday night at home against St. Francis (PA) beginning at 7 p.m.  The Blue Devils are 2-0 in NEC play this season with early-season victories over Bryant and Sacred Heart.

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