The Central Connecticut men's basketball team suffered its first conference loss of the season, dropping a 67-58 decision on the road at Wagner on Saturday. Senior Ken Horton was held to a season-low seven points, but he became the school's all-time scoring leader in the first half. Senior Robby Ptacek led the offense with 28 points.
The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for Central, who is now 8-8 overall and 5-1 in NEC action.
With a basket in the lane at 15:13 in the first half, Horton became the school's all-time leading scorer. His 1,735th career point pushed him pass former Blue Devil Damian Johnson on the school's all-time. He ended the game with 1,738 points.
"He has been the best offensive player at Central Connecticut," head coach Howie Dickenman said following the game. "He has often done it with the other team's most effective defensive player playing him. There were not a lot of easy baskets there. He is a solid player and solid student."
Wagner led 21-12 with under 11 left in the first half. Seven straight points from senior Robby Ptacek made it 21-19, and then Ptacek took a charge on the other end of the floor to force a Wagner turnover. Sophomore De'Angelo Speech tied the game at 21-21 with his first points.
Wagner answered with nine straight, to take a 30-21 lead. The run reached 12-1, and the lead was 10.
The Seahawks led 42-30 at halftime after shooting 68 percent from the field, hitting 15-of-22 shots. They were 6-of-7 from three. The Blue Devils hit only 11-of-28 (39 percent) and only 2-of-11 from three. Ptacek kept Central close with 18 first half points.
The Blue Devils cut it t 46-40 to open the second half. The first three of the game from freshman Kyle Vinales made it 46-43. Following a technical foul on the Wagner bench, Ptacek hit three free-throws (he was also fouled while shooting), and the lead was 48-46 Wagner. Junior Joe Efese made a bucket to tie it at 48-48.
Six straight from Wagner made it 54-48 before an Efese dunk cut it to four.
It was 60-53 after back-to-back threes from Wagner's Tyler Murray. Down six, Murray hit another three to make it 65-56.
Ptacek led all Central scorers with 28. Vinales added eight and Horton seven. Central hit on just 40 percent of its field goals, and under 20 percent from three. They were just 3-of-17 (17.6 percent) in the game. The Blue Devils didn't convert a field goal in the final 6:42 of the game.
Ptacek's 28 points give him 1,335 for his career, moving him into 13th place in CCSU history. He passed three players on Saturday night, including Bill Wendt (1,333).
The Blue Devils will return to action at home on Thursday night, hosting Bryant at 7 p.m.