Comeback Falls Short for MBB at Bryant

Comeback Falls Short for MBB at Bryant

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team trailed by as many as 21 in the second half, but climbed to within two before dropping a 68-65 decision on the road at Bryant on Saturday afternoon.  Junior Kyle Vinales scored a team-high 18 points and added six assists as the Blue Devils lost their second straight. 

With the loss the Blue Devils are now 9-18 overall and 5-9 in Northeast Conference play.  Bryant improves to 17-11 overall and 9-4 in the league.

The Bulldogs built a 46-25 lead early in the second half before a furious comeback for the Blue Devils brought them back into the game.   They got as close as two twice in the second half, including 65-63, with 32 seconds left in the game.  Following a Faronte Drakeford three, the Bulldogs hit one free-throw to push it to a 66-63 game and then called a timeout.  On their next possession CCSU turned the ball over and were forced to foul the Bulldogs.  Two free-throws made it 68-63 before a final basket from the Blue Devils cut the final score to 68-65.

Central trailed 41-22 at the half after the Bulldogs shot 17-of-33 from the field and hit a pair of threes in the first half.  The Blue Devils struggled offensively, making just 7-of-26 from the field and 4-of-13 from three.  They were 4-of-10 from the line, and were outrebounded 25-14 while turning the ball over seven times.

Freshman Matt Mobley led the Blue Devils with six points on a pair of threes.  For Bryant Joe O'Shea had 14 before the break, making 5-of-6 shots and hitting one three.  The Bulldogs had 11 assists on 17 first half baskets.

Central shot 16-of-31 from the field in the second half, and hit 6-of-12 threes in mounting the comeback.  After trailing 46-25 they used a 30-11 run to cut the lead to two, 57-55, with 4:48 left in the game.  Vinales had 13 points after halftime, including three threes. 

Drakeford added 14 points and six rebounds for the Blue Devils.  He was 5-of-7 from the field and made the three that cut it to two with under a minute to play.  Sophomore Brandon Peel added 12 points and nine rebounds, while also getting three blocks.  Mobley finished with nine.

Central continues the season on Thursday night in a key NEC game at LIU Brooklyn beginning at 7 p.m.  The Blue Devils remain in the eighth and final playoff spot following Saturday's game.  They remain just ahead of LIU, who lost at St. Francis University on Saturday.

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