Blue Devils Win Over Wagner; Teams Will Play Again on Thursday
Three Central Connecticut seniors combined for 48 points and 20 rebounds, and the Blue Devils hit 23-of-24 from the free-throws, as they defeated Wagner 78-61 on Senior Day on Saturday afternoon.
Before a season-high crowd of over 2,700 fans, the Blue Devils won their second straight home game to finish 10-3 in Detrick Gym this season. The crowd was the largest for the Blue Devils since the Northeast Conference Championship game of 2007 which saw over 3,200 fans enter Detrick Gym.
Central and Wagner will meet again in just five days. Central will be the #7 seed in the upcoming NEC Tournament and wil travel to Staten Island to face the #2 Seahawks on Thursday night. The two teams split the season series, with each team winning on its home floor.
Senior Ken Horton had 22 points, seven boards, five blocks, four assists and three assists in leading the Blue Devils to their 13th win of the season. Central finishes the Northeast Conference season 10-8, and they are 13-15 overall.
Wagner falls to 24-5 overall and 15-3 in NEC play this season with the loss. The loss snapped a nine-game winning streak for the Seahawks, who had previously lost this season to only Long Island, UConn and Lehigh. The 17-point loss was their largest margin of defeat on the season.
Senior Robby Ptacek had 16 points and five rebounds in his last regular season home game. He was honored before the game along with Horton and fellow senior Dave Simmons.
Simmons had 10 points and eight rebounds in 35 minutes of action. He was 5-of-7 from the field and added two assists.
Central led by 28 points in the second half before the Seahawks cut it to as little as nine in the final two minutes. The Blue Devils hit 23-of-24 from the free-throw line to ice the game and earn their second straight win.
Freshman Kyle Vinales finished the game with 21 points, including 13-of-14 from the free-throw line. He was 6-for-6 from the line in the second half. He became the first CCSU freshman to score over 500 points in a single season.
Wagner committed a season-high 22 turnovers which led to 26 Central Connecticut points. The Blue Devils had 12 steals and dished out 17 assists on 26 baskets.
Central shot 26-of-47 from the field and hit 3-of-8 from three in the victory. Wagner shot just 19-of-50, and just 4-of-16 from three.
Horton moves his career scoring total to 1,941, he is seventh all-time in NEC history. Ptacek's career total extends to 1,521.
The Blue Devils and Seahawks will play on Thursday night in Staten Island in the quarterfinal round of the NEC Tournament.