January 21, 2012

Central Falls 62-61 at Sacred Heart

Senior Ken Horton scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, but Sacred Heart's Shane Gibson hit the game-winner with 6.7 seconds on the clock to give Sacred Heart a 62-61 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Gibson ended the game with 26 points for the Pioneers.  With the loss the Blue Devils are 9-9 overall and 6-2 in Northeast Conference play.  Sacred Heart improves to 10-11 overall and 4-4 in NEC play.

"Very disappointed in the loss," head coach Howie Dickenman said.  "We needed someone to make a big play and we couldn't.  They did.  We have a lot of games left, two at home next week, and we need to put this behind us and move on."

Horton posted his 26th career double-double, and his eighth of the season.  He grabbed his 10th rebound of the game with just under 16 minutes left in the second half.  His 14 are his second-highest total of the season.

Freshman Kyle Vinales added 20 points and senior Robby Ptacek had 12 points and four rebounds in the loss for the Blue Devils. 

The lead changed four times in the first half, and the Blue Devils led 31-28 at the half.  Sacred Heart led 19-14, but the Blue Devils ran off a 9-0 run, six from Horton and three from Vinales, to take the lead for good in the half.  The Pioneers scored just nine points in the final 9:47, and were 4-of-13 from the field during that time.

Central got all its scoring from three players in the first half.  Vinales led the offense with 16, including three threes, while Horton scored 11 and Ptacek had four. 

The Pioneers had 11 points from Gibson and nine from Louis Montes, but shot only 38.7 percent from the field.  They hit 12-of-31 from the field, but only 1-of-9 from three. 

The lead continued to change hands throughout the beginning of the second half.  There were eight lead changes and eight ties in the first 14 minutes of the half before either team would take a lead bigger than three points.

Tied at 49, Ptacek hit his first three of the game to make it 52-49 with under six to play.  Following a three from SHU, he made two free-throws to make it a two point lead.  A jumper from Horton pushed it to four.  Ptacek hit his second three to make it 59-54 with under four to play. 

Up two, freshman Malcom McMillan made a pair of free throws to make it 61-57.  Leading 61-60, the Blue Devils called a timeout with 22.5 seconds on the clock.  Sacred Heart stole the inbounds pass and called a timeout.   Gibson hit his jumper with 6.7 on the clock.

Horton's 25 and 14 led the Blue Devils.  Vinales added 20, 16 of them coming in the first half.  He added five assists and a steal.  Horton added three blocks, and was 8-of-8 from the line.

The Blue Devils return home next week, where they are 7-1 this season, hosting Monmouth on Thursday and Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday.