The Central Connecticut men's basketball team scored its final 19 points from the free-throw line in a 74-71 road win at NJIT on Tuesday night. With the victory Central is now 1-4 overall while NJIT drops to 4-3 on the season with the loss.
Junior Kyle Vinales led all scorers with 29 points in the victory, including 14-of-16 from the free-throw line. He also had a pair of steals.
The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday on the road at Brown at 2 p.m.
The game did not tip until 8:50 due to travel delays for the Blue Devils. The long bus ride and the delay did not seem to bother CCSU in the first half.
Central led 35-23 at halftime behind 14 from Vinales and seven and four assists from McMillan. The 23 points allowed in the first half were the fewest for the Blue Devils in the last two seasons. They limited the Highlanders to 36 percent shooting from the field (9-of-25) and shot 50 percent, hitting 15-of-30.
The 12 point halftime lead was the first lead at the break since the season-opener against Yale.
In the second half the Highlanders hung around and continued to chip away at the Blue Devil lead. However, they would not get closer than three. With Central up in the late minutes, NJIT's Damon Lynn hit a barrage of three-point baskets, but Vinales would come to the other end and hit a pair of free-throws to keep Central ahead.
The Blue Devils were 23-of-28 from the line in the second half. NJIT was 19-of-22. After shooting only eight combined free-throws in the first half the teams combined to shoot 50 in the second half. There were 58 total free-throws and 43 fouls in the game.
Vinales scored 29 to lead all scorers. He took only 11 shots in the game and was 3-of-6 from three. Junior Malcolm McMillan had a monster night, scoring a season-high 16 points while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out four assists.
Central held a 33-32 advantage on the boards. McMillan, junior Faronte Drakeford and senior Matt Hunter all had seven. Junior Juwan Newmen added six points and five rebounds. Hunter had 13 points and added a pair of steals.
Vinales' 29 give him 1,266 in his career, moving him to 20th place all-time, passing former Blue Devil Obie Nwadike (1,265).
Central returns to action on Saturday afternoon at Brown beginning at 2 p.m. Fans can listen on Fox Sports Radio 1410, ESPN Radio 1300 and online at www.iHeartRadio.com.