The Central Connecticut men's basketball team dropped an 80-78 overtime decision in Detrick Gym on Thursday night vs. Sacred Heart. The loss drops CCSU to 1-15 overall on the season and 0-5 in the Northeast Conference. The win pushes the Pioneers to 3-13 overall on the year and 2-3 in league action.
Central led by as many as 15 in the first half and by nine at halftime, but the Pioneers shot 15-of-28 (53.6 percent) from the field after the break to eventually tie the game and send it to overtime. Quincy McKnight scored the game-winning layup with :00.2 remaining.
Central was led by freshman Jahlil Nails who scored a career-high 18 points including 4-of-5 from three, all of them coming in the first half. He made his first five shots from the field. Classmate Austin Nehls scored 16 points and hit three threes, while shooting 5-of-6 from the line.
The Pioneers were led by Cane Broome, the league's leading scorer, who had a game-high 24 points, including 18 after halftime. He was 10-of-17 from the field and also had three assists
Central came out of the gates on fire from the three-point line, hitting 7-of-10 in the first half. They would make just 2-of-9 in the second half and overtime, while shooting just 14-of-35 from the field after the break. For the game the Blue Devils shot 40.6 percent from the field and made 9-of-19 from three.
The Blue Devils led by nine at the break, 36-27, after the Pioneers posted a bucket just before the half ended. The quickly erased the lead in the second half with a 13-4 run to begin the half, tying the game 40-40 with 14:47 to play in regulation.
Sacred Heart took the lead following four straight free-throws from Tevin Falzon with five minutes to play in the second half. It was the first lead for SHU since the 13:47 mark of the first half.
The team's traded baskets in the final minutes of regulation before SHU's Jordan Allen tied the game 70-70 with under two seconds to play. Allen's bucket came off an inbounds pass from the Pioneers and sent the game to overtime.
Sacred Heart led throughout overtime, but after a jumper by senior Brandon Peel tied the game at 78-78 with 31 seconds to play the Pioneers needed a layup by McKnight with .2 seconds remaining to get the win.
SHU was 5-of-8 from the field in overtime and outscored the Blue Devils 10-8 to come away with the victory. On the night SHU shot 16-of-19 from the line, including 10-of-10 from Falzon, while the Blue Devils hit just 13-of-20.
Central had four players with double figures, led by Nails with 18. Nehls had 16 while Cumberlander had 10 points, and freshman Evan Phoenix added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Blue Devils.
Sacred Heart was led by Broome with 24 points and Falzon with 20 points. McKnight added 17 for the Pioneers.
The Blue Devils will return to action on the road on Saturday at Wagner beginning at 4 p.m.