Men's Basketball Closes Non-Conference Slate With Yale at Home Wednesday

Men's Basketball Closes Non-Conference Slate With Yale at Home Wednesday
The Central Connecticut men's basketball team closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule against Yale on Wednesday night at Detrick Gymnasium. The game is slated to tip at 7:00 p.m. The Blue Devils are back in action after falling at UConn on Dec. 23, while Yale is returning to action having last played on Dec. 13. Tickets can be purchased at CCSUTickets.com or at the box office upon entry. Admission for all CCSU students, faculty and staff is free of charge with a valid Blue Chip card. For fans who cannot attend, all the action can be seen live, for free, on NECFrontRow.com.
The Bulldogs lead the all-time series, 4-1, and won the last meeting, 93-77, on Nov. 9, 2013. Central's win in the series came on Dec. 2, 1999, a 59-45 victory.

GAMEDAY INFORMATION
CCSU (1-9) vs. Yale (5-5) |  7:00 PM  |  Video  |  Live Stats  |  Listen (News Radio 1410/ESPN Radio 1300)

Newcomer Nehls Coming On Strong
• Freshman Austin Nehls ranks second on the Blue Devils in scoring and leads all Northeast Conference freshmen at 12.5 ppg. His mark ranks 15th overall in the league.
• Nehls is the league's leading free throw shooter at 91.3 percent (21-for-23).
• The 6-foot-3 guard has earned a reputation as a shooter and is second in the NEC with 2.8 three-pointers made per game. He ranks fifth in the league, making 39.4 percent from the arc.
• Nehls has scored double-figures in three straight games, including a career-high 20 against UMass Lowell. He has started nine games and has scored double-figures in six games overall.

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

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.

Sharing The Scoring
• CCSU has had 3+ players score 10+ points in five games thus far.
Khalen Cumberlander (12.7 ppg) and Austin Nehls (12.5) average double-figures, with Brandon Peel just behind at 9.9 ppg.
• 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.

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.

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 690 boards in his career, which ranks 42nd all-time.
• Peel entered the season as the NEC active scoring leader and one of eight players with 500 career points. He currently has 717 career points.
• Lastly, Peel entered the year as the league's blocked shots leader and now has 142 blocks.

Blue Devils on TV
• Central has played three televised games this year and will make two more appearances on the Northeast Conference TV Package.
• 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 690 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 142 with Joe Efese (150) next up for Peel on the career list. 

Double-Doubles
• Senior Brandon Peel posted his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points, 11 rebounds at Rutgers.
• In his last 16 games, Peel has seven double-doubles. He leads all active Northeast Conference players with 16 in his career.
• Junior Khalen Cumberlander posted the first double-double of his career with 19 points and 12 rebounds against Hartford.

Cumberlander's Consistency
• Junior Khalen Cumberlander is Central's leading scorer at 12.7 points per game and 14th in the Northeast Conference. 
• Cumberlander finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists against Hartford in a near triple-double. He had his first career double-double and notched career-highs in both rebounds (12) and assists (8).
• Cumberlander has scored in double-figures in seven of 10 games and in 11 of the last 14 games dating back to last season.

Central and the Three-Point Shot - A New Streak Begins
• The Blue Devils have hit a three-pointer in 18 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.

History - 1,075 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 1,075-876 for a .551 winning percentage.

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).

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)

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. 

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.

Up Next:
• Central begin Northeast Conference play when it travels to Bryant on Jan. 2. 
• The all-time series is tied 13-13, but the Bulldogs won both meetings last season, including a 77-69 win in Smithfield on Feb. 26, 2015.
• Bryant has won six straight in the series dating back to a 69-51 CCSU win in New Britain on Jan. 19, 2012.

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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