Northeast Conference play begins this weekend for Central Connecticut men's basketball with games at Wagner and St. Francis Brooklyn. The Blue Devils have played their last five games on the road and will open NEC play at Wagner on Thursday, Dec. 29. CCSU will close out its seven-game road swing with a game at St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday, Dec. 31.
CCSU opens NEC play against Wagner on Thursday night. The Seahawks were picked second in the preseason coaches' poll and boast the conference's top defense. The Blue Devils will close out the opening NEC weekend against St. Francis Brooklyn on New Year's Eve afternoon. The Terriers were tabbed seventh in the preseason poll.
All NEC games home and away are available to stream, for free, at NECFrontRow.com.
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Talent: Bruce Biel (Play-by-Play), Marc Robbins (Analyst)
Twitter: @KizerBlueDevil (in-game updates)
Series Notes vs. Wagner:
• The CCSU defense is forcing 15.0 turnovers per game, which ranks second in the NEC and is 85th nationally. Senior Khalen Cumberlanders is 11th in the NEC with 1.36 steals per game.
Fordham would take a 46-23 lead into halftime after holding Central to just one field goal over the final 8:23 of the opening half. The Rams outscored CCSU, 24-4, in that span and allowed just a pair of foul shots by Nehls and a jumper from senior Tafari Whittingham.
The Rams would lead by as much as 60-32 with 14:28 to go before a quick spurt from the Blue Devils would cut into the lead. A layup by Nehls and a three-pointer from sophomore Eric Bowles opened a 9-0 run for CCSU. Junior Mustafa Jones followed with a dunk and then threaded a pass to Nehls to make it 65-46. Consecutive baskets by Fordham would end the run and CCSU would not get closer the rest of the way. Freshman Donyell Marshall Jr. would close out the scoring for the final margin.
Nehls hit five three-pointers and was 8-of-14 from the fineld overall. He added two steals, two assists and a block. Pierre finished with 10 points. Jones and senior Khalen Cumberlander each grabbed a team-high five rebounds.
Central shot 21-of-48 (.438) overall and was 7-of-17 (.412) from three-point range, but was forced into 24 turnovers
Fordham had four in double-figures led by Javontae Hawkins' 16 points. The Rams shot 56.6 percent (30-of-53) overall and 47.8 (11-of-23) percent on three-pointers.