The Central Connecticut men's basketball season came to an end on Wednesday night with a 83-59 quarterfinal loss on the road at #2 Wagner. The Blue Devils had finished the regular season with a 7-9 mark in Northeast Conference play and earned the #7 seed, playing at Wagner for the third straight season.
Junior Kyle Vinales scored a team-high 20 points and passed 1,500 career points in the process. Sophomore Brandon Peel had 12 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks. Junior Faronte Drakeford added 10 points.
The Blue Devils trailed by eight at halftime and had the Wagner lead down to 49-44 with just over 12 minutes to play in the second half. But the Seahawks responded with six straight points to push the lead to 11. Central responded but would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
With the score 61-52 Wagner rattled off 10 straight points to push the lead to 71-52 with 2:55 to play. Central scored just seven points in the final 6:30 minutes of play, as the Seahawks move on to the semifinal round of the NEC Tournament.
The Blue Devils struggled from the field, making just 21-of-62 (33.9 percent) overall and 6-of-21 from three, good for 28.6 percent. The Seahawks did not shoot the ball well either, hitting on just 27-of-76 from the floor and 6-of-22 from three. However, Wagner grabbed 24 offensive rebounds in the game and produced 23 second chance points. They had the 36-24 advantage on points in the paint.
Vinales made four threes in the game and had 20 points. He ends his junior season with 1,514 career points, just 17 points behind former Blue Devil Robby Ptacek for 10th place on the school's all-time scoring list. The 20 point game was the 38th of his career.
Peel's 12 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks came just three blocks shy of the third triple-double in school history. His 13 rebounds were a season-high and his seven blocks are a new career-high. He ends the season with 61 blocks.