The Central Connecticut men's basketball team fell at Penn, 77-61, on Sunday afternoon at the Palestra. CCSU was even with the hosts at halftime, but the Quakers shot 57.7 percent from the field and hit six three-pointers after the break to pull away.
The loss drops CCSU to 0-2 on the season, while Penn goes to 2-0.
A jumper by senior Brandon Peel made it 36-34 in favor of CCSU early in the second half before the Quakers came back with eight unanswered points to take the lead for good. Consecutive three-pointers by Sam Jones made it 42-36 with 15:34 to play.
The Quakers extended the lead out to 57-44 after Jones hit another three-pointer as Penn used a 23-8 spurt to take control of the game. Jones accounted for for 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to pace Penn.
Junior Khalen Cumberlander would account for five quick points to get Central within 58-49 after a three-pointer with 10:29 to play, but that was as close as the Blue Devils would get. Penn took its largest lead of the game at 72-55 with 3:51 to play and would keep the margin at double-digits.
The game was tied at halftime and the Blue Devils had the largest lead of the first half after a drive by junior JJ Cratit capped a run of seven unanswered points to make it 24-19 with 4:00 to go in the period. The teams would go back-and-forth into halftime. A three-pointer by junior Khalen Cumberlander put CCSU ahead momentarily, until Antonio Woods answered with a trifecta to tie it 29-29 going into the intermission.
Peel led CCSU with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his second double-double in as many games. Cumberlander chipped in with 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists to just one turnover. Cratit finished with nine points.
Central shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor in the game.
Jones finished 5-of-9 from the arc and 8-of-9 at the line for Penn, while Darien Nelson-Henry added 10 points and 10 rebounds. Woods chipped in with 11 points.
Penn shot 44.41 percent for the game. The Quakers were 9-of-27 on three-pointers, including 6-of-12 in the second half and held a narrow 38-36 rebounding margin.
Central is back in action on Thursday, Nov. 19, with a 6:00 p.m. game at Boston College.