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Men's Basketball Faces UConn on ESPNU Wednesday

Men's Basketball Faces UConn on ESPNU Wednesday

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday when it faces Connecticut. The game at the XL Center will tip off at 12:30 p.m. and be broadcast on ESPNU. Bob Picozzi will call the play-by-play and the analyst will be Seth Greenberg.

The Blue Devils are coming off an 83-79 win over UMass Lowell on Friday night, while the Huskies are also coming off a win against the River Hawks, 88-79, on Sunday. UConn is also receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25 Polls. This will be the 14th meeting between the schools, with UConn having won the previous 13 meetings dating back to 1980. The Huskies won last season's contest, 81-48.

CCSU (1-8) at UConn (7-3) |  12:30 PM  |  Video (ESPNU/WatchESPN)  |  Live Stats  |  Listen (News Radio 1410/ESPN Radio 1300)

Phoenix Earns Accolade For Breakout Night
• Freshman Evan Phoenix was named Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week after posting career-highs of 28 points (11-19 FG) and nine rebounds in 33 minutesin the win over UMass Lowell. It was the most points by a CCSU player since Matt Mobley (31) on Feb. 26, 2015 at Bryant. 
• Phoenix entered the night averaging 2.1 ppg and 2.6 rpg in 9.0 mpg and had just 15 total points on 6-17 FGs in seven contests. 
• His 28 points were the most by a CCSU rookie since Kyle Vinales (32) at Robert Morris on Feb. 18, 2012 and the highest-scoring game by an NEC freshman since Mount St. Mary's Shivaughn Wiggins had 28 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson on March 2, 2013.

Stealing The Way To Victory
• In the win over UMass Lowell, CCSU collected a season-high 13 steals in forcing 20 turnovers which were turned into a 21-9 edge in points off turnovers.
• It was the most steals for Central since having 14 at St. Francis Brooklyn on Feb. 18, 2014. 
• Junior Khalen Cumberlander led the way with a career-high five steals, marking the first five-steal game by a CCSU player since Brandon Peel on Feb. 12, 2015 at Saint Francis U.
• Freshman Eric Bowles provided a lift in his first action of the season with three steals.

Freshmen 20-20 Effort Leads Way Against River Hawks
• Freshmen Evan Phoenix and Austin Nehls scored 28 and 20 points respectively against UMass Lowell giving Central two 20-point scorers in a game for the first time since Matt Mobley (26) and Faronte Drakeford (20) did it against Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 3, 2015.
• All three CCSU 20-point outings this season have been by first-year Blue Devils with JJ Cratit's 20 points at Boston College on Nov. 19 as the only other 20-point outing during 2015-16.

Starting Five
• Through nine games, CCSU has experimented with seven different starting lineups. 10 different players have started at least one game for the Blue Devils, including six first-year Blue Devils.
• CCSU has started the same lineup in back-to-back games just twice this season.

Home of the Blue Devils Turns 50
• Dec. 4, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the first game at CCSU's current home court in Harrison J. Kaiser Hall.
• Central defeated Coast Guard, 109-57, on Dec. 4, 1965, in front of a crowd of 3,600 fanst. Bob Plosky scored the first points and teammate Gene Reilly led the Blue Devils with 21 points.
• Head coach Bill Detrick led CCSU to a 23-3 record in 1965-66. William H. Detrick Gymnasium was named in his honor in 1991.

Peel Nominated For Good Works Team
• Senior Brandon Peel is among the nominees for the AllState NABC Good Works Team which recognizes players at all levels of college basketball who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of volunteerism and civic involvement.
• Special voting panels will select two 10-member teams comprised of five student-athletes from the NCAA Division I level and five student-athletes from Divisions II, III and the NAIA. 

Sharing The Scoring
• CCSU has had 3+ players score 10+ points in five games thus far.
• Khalen Cumberlander (13.4 ppg), Austin Nehls (12.1) and Brandon Peel (10.6) are all averaging double-figures scoring.
• With five players scoring in double figures against Hartford, it marked the first time since Nov. 26, 2013 against Rider that Central had five players score in double-figures.

Peel Among Leading NEC Returnees
• Forward Brandon Peel entered the season as the Northeast Conference's active stats leader in three categories, including rebounding. He has grabbed 687 boards in his career.
• Peel entered the season as the NEC active scoring leader and one of eight players with 500 career points. He currently has 713 career points.
• Lastly, Peel entered the year as the league's blocked shots leader and now has 141 blocks.

Cumberlander's Consistency
• Junior Khalen Cumberlander is Central's leading scorer at 13.4 points per game and 11th in the Northeast Conference. 
• Cumberlander finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists against Hartford in a near triple-double. The double-double was the first of Cumberlander's career and he notched career-highs in both rebounds (12) and assists (8).
• Cumberlander has scored in double-figures in seven of nine games and in 11 of the last 13 games dating back to last season.

Among NEC Most Improved Scorers
• Junior Khalen Cumberlander and sophomore Mustafa Jones are among the Northeast Conference's most improved scorers.
• Cumberlander at 13.4 ppg ranks among the top 10 scorers in the league thus far. His scoring average is a +3.5 improvement over last season of 9.9 ppg.
• Jones has been even better, improving his scoring by +5.3 points to 6.9 ppg. He also ranks 7th in FG Pct. (.533) in the NEC after averaging 1.6 ppg as a freshman. 

Blue Devils on TV
• Central has played two televised games this year and will face UConn on ESPNU on Dec. 23.
• In addition to all of its home games being on NEC Front Row, CCSU will appear on TV a total of six times this season.
• CCSU will have games on ESPN3 (at Boston College, Wagner), ESPNU (at Connecticut), and the Big Ten Network (at Rutgers) along with games on the Northeast Conference television package vs. LIU Brooklyn, Wagner and at St. Francis Brooklyn.

Peel Among CCSU Career Leaders
• Senior Brandon Peel has moved into 10th on the CCSU career rebounding list with 687 career rebounds.
• Peel has grabbed double-digit rebounds in 26 career games including a career-high 18 rebounds against Robert Morris on Jan. 10, 2015. He had 11 rebounds at the break.
• Peel is fifth on the blocked shots list with 141 with Joe Efese (150) next up for Peel on the career list. 

• Senior Brandon Peel posted his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points, 11 rebounds at Rutgers.
• In his last 15 games, Peel has seven double-doubles. He leads all active Northeast Conference players with 16 in his career.
• Junior Khalen Cumberlander posted the first of his career with 19 points and 12 rebounds against Hartford.
Central and the Three-Point Shot - A New Streak Begins
• The Blue Devils have hit a three-pointer in 17 straight games since having its streak of 557 games with a three-pointer stopped at Wagner on Jan. 31, 2015.
• Central had made a three in every game dating back to February 29, 1996 at the University of Missouri-KC in a 76-69 loss, before going 0-for-6 vs. the Seahawks, marking the first time under head coach Howie Dickenman CCSU did not make a three.

Dickenman & CCSU in Overtime
• Central fell to Hartford, 92-83, in double-overtime in the opener.
• CCSU has played 32 overtime game under head coach Howie Dickenman and have a 22-10 record in 20 seasons. 
• CCSU had won five straight OT games dating to Jan. 26, 2012 (56-58, Monmouth).

History - 1,074 Wins
• This season marks the 79th season of Central basketball.
• CCSU's first year of competition was the 1934-35 season under coach Harrison J. Kaiser, who the athletic building is named for.
• Central carries an overall record of 1,075-875 for a .551 winning percentage.

Coach Dickenman Milestone
• Head Coach Howie Dickenman, now in his 20th season at his alma mater, reached two milestones in a win over UMBC last year.
• Dickenman became the second coach in school history to record his 275th victory, while at the same time he recorded his 150th career home victory with the win over the Retrievers.
• Dickenman trails only his former head coach Bill Detrick in career wins.  Detrick won 468 games in 29 seasons.

Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll
• The NEC announced its preseason coaches poll on Oct. 27 at Social Media Day in Brooklyn, NY. Mount St. Mary's was tabbed the favorite, receiving six first-place votes.
• Central was picked 10th in the preseason coaches poll.
• The league also announced its Preseason All-NEC Team:
BK Ashe (Jr, G, Mount St. Mary's)
Cane Broome (So, G, Sacred Heart)
Dan Garvin (Jr, F, Bryant)
Gregory Graves (Sr, F, Mount St. Mary's)
Rodney Pryor (Sr, G, Robert Morris)

Up Next:
• Centrall will host Yale on Dec. 30 in its final non-conference contest of the season. Yale leads the series 4-1, having won the last three meetings.
• The teams last met on Nov. 9, 2013, when Yale claimed a 93-77 win in the CT6 at the Arena at Harbor Yard.
• Yale won the first meeting, 77-61, on Dec. 4, 1997. CCSU claimed its only win in the series, 59-45, on Dec. 2, 1999.

Follow The Blue Devils
• The Central Connecticut athletics website, www.ccsubluedevils.com, has previews, recaps, schedules, rosters, statistics and more.
• You can also follow "CCSUBlueDevils" on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Game updates are also on Twitter @KizerBlueDevil.




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