Men's Basketball Earns Exhibition Win Over Mitchell College, 94-66

Men's Basketball Earns Exhibition Win Over Mitchell College, 94-66

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team used a balanced team effort to claim a 94-66 win over Mitchell College in an exhibition game on Monday night.  The Blue Devils shot 50 percent from the field as a team and had seven players score at least eight points in a tune-up for the season opener.

Sophomore Mustafa Jones led the Blue Devils with 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting in 14 minutes.  Junior Khalen Cumberlander scored 12 points in a team-high 24 minutes of action as just two players played more than 20 minutes in the game for CCSU which led throughout.

A three-pointer by junior JJ Cratit broke a 2-2 tie just 2:59 into the contest and helped kickstart a 14-4 run.  The Blue Devils pushed the lead to double-figures at 16-6 following a jumper by sophomore Kevin Seymour.  The Mariners managed to get back within 20-14 with 11:23 left in the first half, but that was as close as they would get the rest of the evening.

A three-pointer by freshman Austin Nehls made it 39-24 with 3:23 to play in the half and opened a 14-4 spurt to close the half for Central.  The Blue Devils scored the final six points of the period, including a layup by Jones off a pass from Eric Bowles as time expired to make it 50-28 at the intermission.

CCSU pushed the lead to 78-46 with 11:49 to play after eight straight points on a layup from freshman Evan Phoenix and back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore Shakaris Laney.

Seymour hit a layup with 9:46 to play to make it 83-47 and give the Blue Devils their largest lead of the night.  Mitchell responded with eight unanswered points, including a three-pointer from Frank Martin with 8:07 to play to make it 83-55.  Central never allowed the Mariners to get closer than within 27 points the rest of the way. 

The Blue Devils held a 62-35 rebounding edge, led by senior Brandon Peel who finished with a game-high 16 rebounds.  Junior Tidell Pierre added 10 rebounds to go with nine points. 

Central also hit 7-of-17 (.412) from the arc, while limiting Mitchell to just 5-of-26 (.192) on three-point shots.  Cratit, Laney and freshman Jahlil Nails each had two three-pointers. CCSU notched 15 assists on 37 field goals, led by Bowles who finished with four assists and no turnovers.

Donavan McClean led four Mariners in double-figures scoring with 17 points. McClean also led the team with eight rebounds.

Central opens play in the 2015-16 season on Friday night in the Connecticut 6 Classic.  CCSU is hosting the six-team, three-game event beginning at 3:00 p.m.  The Blue Devils will play Hartford at 8:00 p.m.  Tickets are available online at www.CCSUTickets.com.

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