Central Connecticut fell to Robert Morris, 59-45, in men's basketball action on Thursday night. The Blue Devils held an early lead before a stifling stretch of defense by the Colonials stretching into both halves proved to be the difference in the game.
Central slipped to 1-17 overall with the loss and 0-7 in Northeast Conference play. The Colonials improved to 5-15 overall and 3-4 in NEC action.
Robert Morris took control of the game with a 28-2 run that stretched over both halves. Central was held to one field goal during a span of over 14 minutes. A dunk by Billy Giles gave the Colonials a 42-20 lead before a jumper by sophomore Kevin Seymour with 13:06 to play disrupted the RMU run.
Central would chip away at the lead and get within 51-39 following a three-pointer by Cratit with 3:59 to play, but the Colonials kept the lead in double-figures the rest of the way.
The Blue Devils opened the game with the first four points on a pair of baskets from sophomore Mustafa Jones before Robert Morris came back with eight unanswered points over a nearly five-minute span.
Central would respond by scoring its next four field goals via the three-pointer to retake the lead. A trifecta from Cratit put the Blue Devils ahead 16-14 at the 8:27 mark. A layup from junior Khalen Cumberlander would make it 18-14 before Robert Morris scored the final 11 points of the half and held CCSU scoreless over the final 7:28.
The Colonials took a 25-18 lead into halftime following a three-pointer from Matty McConnell.
Cratit scored nine points on a trio of three-pointers to lead Central. Seymour added seven points off the bench and Peel grabbed a team-high six rebounds. He also recorded a pair of blocked shots early in the first half and moved into a tie with Joe Efese for fourth all-time at CCSU with 150 career blocked shots.
The Blue Devils were held to just 31.5 percent shooting on the night (17-of-54). The teams were even on the glass with 38 rebounds each.
Kavon Stewart and Elijah Minnie each had 15 points to lead Robert Morris. The Colonials shot 38.6 percent from the floor (22-of-57), but took advantage of 15 CCSU turnovers for a 16-3 edge in points off turnovers.
Central Connecticut hosts Saint Francis U. on Saturday, Jan. 23, for a 3:30 p.m. as part of a basketball doubleheader. The CCSU women play the Red Flash at 1:00 p.m. 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. All of the action can also be seen live, for free, on NECFrontRow.com.