Horton, Vinales Earn NEC Weekly Honors

Steve McLaughlin photo

Senior Ken Horton and freshman Kyle Vinales were named the Choice Hotels/Northeast Conference Player and Rookie of the Week this week, it was announced on Monday by the league office.  The award for Vinales is his eighth this season, matching the league-record.

Horton gave the fans a sight to see last week, averaging 30.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 5.0 steals and 2.5 blocks in a pair of Blue Devil wins. In a 78-63 win over Mount St. Mary's on Thursday, the reigning NEC Player of the Year put on one of the best single-game performance in CCSU history, scoring a career-high 39 points and grabbing 13 boards. The scoring output, which pushed the senior forward's career total over the 1,900-point plateau mark, tied for the second-most points by an NEC player this season, as teammate Kyle Vinales accomplished the feat back in November.

He also stuffed the stat sheet with six steals and five assists in addition to shooting 15-for-20 from the field, including 11-for-12 from inside the arc. He then deposited 22 points and reeled in seven boards as CCSU upset second-place Wagner, 78-61. Playing in his final regular-season home game, Horton also contributed five blocks, four steals and three assists while playing all 40 minutes.

With his stellar weekend, Horton moved into seventh place on the NEC's all-time scoring list, boasting 1,941 points in four years under head coach Howie Dickenman. It also kept him in the top-5 in several NEC statistical categories including points per game (2nd; 18.7), rebounds per game (3rd; 8.9) and steals (1st; 2.1).

Vinales ended his first regular season the same way he started it – winning the NEC's Choice Hotels/NEC Rookie of the Week award. It marks his eighth ROW award of the season, tying the all-time mark shared by Saint Francis' (PA) Darshan Luckey, Rider's Charles Smith and Monmouth's Alex Blackwell.

The Detroit, MI native averaged 17.0 points and 6.0 assists and became the first freshman in CCSU history to score over 500 points in a season as the Blue Devils defeated Mount St. Mary's and second-place Wagner by an average of 16 points. In his team's 78-63 decision over the Mount, Vinales scored 13 points and dished out a career-high 11 assists without committing a turnover. He was 3-for-4 from long distance.

He then helped his seniors go out on top on Senior Day by netting 21 points, including 13 on a 13-for-14 performance from the line, as the Blue Devils topped the Seahawks, 78-61. The 6-1 guard proved clutch in the final minutes, hitting all six of his free throws to seal the win and earn CCSU its 10th home win of the season. Vinales leads all NCAA freshman and ranks third in the NEC in scoring with 18.0 ppg.