The Central Connecticut men's basketball team led wire-to-wire in a 65-60 win over Robert Morris on Thursday night at the Sewall Center. The Blue Devils would lead by as many as 23 points and held off a Colonials rally in the second half for their first road win of the year.
Junior Khalen Cumberlander led four in double-figures with 18 points, while freshman Austin Nehls added 17 points. Senior Brandon Peel posted his fourth straight double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds, while sophomore Mustafa Jones added 12 points.
The win improved CCSU to 3-19 on the year and 2-9 in Northeast Conference play.
Central raced out of the gates scoring the game's first nine points. Jones scored the first four points, followed by five straight from Nehls to give CCSU a 9-0 lead at the 15:39 mark.
The Blue Devils would extend the lead into double-figures for the remainder of the first half following back-to-back three-pointers by Cumberlander to make it 24-9. The trifectas would open a spurt over the next 3:40 that saw Central outscore RMU, 13-2.
A three-pointer from freshman Jahlil Nails pushed the Blue Devils to their largest lead of the half at 36-13. The Colonials would trim the deficit with a 7-0 run to close the period and get within 36-20 at the break.
Robert Morris would chip away at its deficit and outscore outscore Central 20-4 during a 12-minute stretch that stretched over both periods. A three-point play by Conrad Stephens with 12:14 to play got the Colonials within 40-33.
The Blue Devils would maintain the lead and pushed it back to as much as 57-43 after a three-pointer by Nehls and two foul shots by Cumberlander.
The Colonials would mount one last charge on the back of 10 straight points from Isaiah Still to get within, 60-55, with 2:56 to play. The Blue Devils would not allow the hosts to get any closer and foul shots by sophomore Kevin Seymour and Nehls with 21 seconds to play would push the lead to 65-57 before a Matty McConnell three-pointer accounted for the final margin.
The Blue Devils shot 42.0 percent (21-50) for the game and were 9-of-23 (.391) on three-pointers. CCSU was 14-of-20 (.700) at the foul line and held a 45-34 rebounding edge.
Robert Morris was led by Still's 19 points. The Colonials shot just 35.9 percent (23-64) for the game and just 17.2 percent (5-29) on three-pointers. RMU opened the game just 2-of-17 from the field (1-of-10 on three-pointers) and were unable to recover.
Central travels to Saint Francis U for a 4:00 p.m. game on Saturday, Feb. 6. The contest will follow the women's contest between the Blue Devils and Red Flash scheduled for 1:00 p.m.