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.
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.
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.