Men Now 4-0 in NEC, Top RMU by 15
Senior Robby Ptacek and Ken Horton combined for 45 points, and Horton posted his sixth double-double of the season, as the Central Connecticut men's basketball team moved ot 4-0 in Northeast Conference play with a 68-53 home victory over Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman Kyle Vinales added 18 points, as the trio combined for 63 points in the home win. Ptacek had five threes, a new career-high, and Vinales hit three as the Blue Devils evened their overall record to 7-7.
The Blue Devils hit 16-of-21 free-throws in the game, including 9-of-11 from Horton. Twelve of them came in the second half as they built the lead to as many 18 in the final minutes.
Robert Morris shot just 30.3 percent from the field (20-of-66) and only 2-of-15 from three, just 13.3 percent. The Blue Devils on the other hand, hit at a 47.8 percent clip (22-of-46) and hit 8-of-18 from three (44.4 percent), after shooting poorly from three in their last two games.
The Blue Devils improved to 6-0 in the season when allowing fewer than 60 points, and the shooting percentage for the Colonials was the lowest of the season for a Blue Devil opponent.
Central didn't trail by more than three points in the entire game, and once they took a 20-19 lead with 6:23 to play in the first half they would never trail. They led 32-28 at the break.
The Blue Devils used a 9-4 run to open the second half to build a 41-32 lead, but the Colonials cut it to three, 41-38, with a quick 6-0 spurt.
Central responded, scoring seven straight, including another three from Ptacek, to push the lead to 10, 48-38, with 10 minutes to play.
The lead would not get below seven in the final 10 minutes, and no closer than 10 in the final five.
Horton's double-double was his sixth of the season and the 24th of his career. His 21 points give him 1,708 for his career, becoming just the third Blue Devil in school history to score over 1,700 career points. He is 27 points shy of setting the new school record, held by Damian Johnson with 1,734. Horton also jumps to 20th place all-time on the NEC scoring list.
Ptacek scored 24 and grabbed five rebounds. His career scoring total is now 1,293, good for 17th on the all-time list.
Vinales had 18 and added five assists. Freshman Malcolm McMillan also had five assists.
The win moves the Blue Devils to 7-7 overall, and a perfect 4-0 in NEC play. They take to the road next week at Mount St. Mary's on Thursday night and at Wagner on Saturday.