The Central Connecticut men's basketball team fell to St. Francis Brooklyn, 60-49, on Saturday afternoon at Detrick Gymnasium. The Terriers took advantage of a strong day defensively and three-point shooting to down the Blue Devils.
Sophomore Mustafa Jones led the Blue Devils with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting and grabbed six rebounds. Senior Brandon Peel posted his third straight double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, while junior Khalen Cumberlander and freshman Austin Nehls added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The loss drops CCSU to 2-19 overall and 1-9 in Northeast Conference play. The Terriers improve to 9-14 overall and 5-5 in NEC play.
Central raced out to a 9-3 lead following a steal by Jones that led to a dunk for Cumberlander. A jumper by Cumberlander with 12:59 to play in the half would give CCSU a 13-6 lead before the Terriers' defense took hold.
St. Francis would score 12 straight points and take an 18-13 lead after a three-pointer by Antonio Jenifer. A layup by Cumberlander at 5:59 would end the CCSU scoring drought, but the Terriers pushed the lead to 26-18 on a Chris Hooper basket. Consecutive baskets by Jones and Cumberlander would close out the half to get Central within 26-22 at the break.
The layup from Jones early in the second half cut St. Francis' lead to 30-28 with 17:56 remaining, but that was as close as Central managed to get the rest of the way. The Terriers responded quickly with a 5-0 run ending with an Jenifer dunk to push the lead to 35-28.
After a layup by freshman Austin Nehls made it 43-36 with 10:10 to play, St. Francis held the Blue Devils without a field goal until a three-pointer by Nehls with 33 seconds to play. The Terriers' lead was 60-45 at that point and baskets from Peel and Seymour would close out the scoring.
Central was limited to 38.8 percent (19-of-49) shooting on the day and was just 1-of-7 on three-pointers. The Blue Devils held a 40-35 edge on the glass and outscored St. Francis, 30-20, in the paint.
The Terriers were led by Chris Hooper's 15 points off the bench, while Yunus Hopkinson hit four three-pointers and finished with 14 points. Tyreek Jewell grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. St. Francis shot just 35 percent (21-of-60) from the field overall, but hit 10 three-pointers and forced 16 CCSU turnovers.
Central returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 4, at Robert Morris to begin a four-game road stretch.