Men's Basketball Returns Home for Pair of NEC Games

Men's Basketball Returns Home for Pair of NEC Games

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team returns home on Thursday, Jan. 5, to host intra-state foe Sacred Heart in a Northeast Conference game at 7:00 p.m. CCSU will be playing its first home game since Dec. 3 after playing seven straight games on the road. The Blue Devils will also host Mount St. Mary's on Saturday, Jan. 7, at 3:30 p.m. as part of a doubleheader with the CCSU women's basketball team.  

CCSU will be in search of its first NEC win of the season on Thursday against Sacred Heart. The Blue Devils are coming off an 86-77 loss in overtime at St. Francis Brooklyn on New Year's Eve day. The Pioneers are also 0-2 in conference play, having fallen to Robert Morris and Saint Francis U. at home in the league's opening weekend. Mount St. Mary's won it's first two league games, with a victory at LIU Brooklyn and a win at home over Wagner. 

Tickets can be purchased at 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 NEC games home and away are available to stream, for free, at


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Talent: Bruce Biel (Play-by-Play), Marc Robbins (Analyst)
Twitter: @KizerBlueDevil (in-game updates)

vs. Sacred Heart (5-10, 0-2 NEC) | Thursday, Jan. 5 • 7:00 PM  |  CCSU Notes  |  Sacred Heart Notes
NECFrontRow |  Live Stats  |  Listen (News Radio 1410) 

vs. Mount St. Mary's |  Saturday, Jan. 7 • 3:30 PM  |  CCSU Notes  |  Mount St. Mary's Notes
NECFrontRow |  Live Stats  |  Listen (News Radio 1410) 

Series Notes vs. Sacred Heart:
•  Series Record: CCSU leads, 37-23
•  First Meeting: Jan. 21, 1971 (CCSU, 99-87)
•  Last Meeting: Feb. 13, 2016 (SHU, 87-52)
•  Last CCSU Win: Feb. 21, 2015 (76-73)
•  Current CCSU Streak: L2
•  Last Sacred Heart Win: Feb. 13, 2016 (52-87)

Series Notes vs. Mount St. Mary's:
•  Series Record: CCSU leads, 20-18
•  First Meeting: Feb. 16, 1989 (Mount, 93-74)
•  Last Meeting: Feb. 18, 2016 (CCSU, 76-72)
•  Last CCSU Win: Feb. 18, 2016 (76-72)
•  Current CCSU Streak: W1
•  Last Mount St. Mary's Win: Jan. 7, 2016 (62-73)

CCSU Notes:
•  Senior Tidell Pierre posted his second double-double with 15 points and a career-high 19 rebounds at St. Francis Brooklyn. The 19 boards matched the NEC single-game high for this season. He narrowly missed becoming the first Blue Devil with 20 rebounds since Obie Nwadike on Feb. 2, 2006, against the Terriers.
•  Senior Khalen Cumberlander led CCSU with 18 points against the Terriers and surpassed 900 career points (906). He is the NEC's second-leading active scorer and scored 14 of his points after halftime.
•  CCSU collected a season-high 51 rebounds at SFBK, including 23 offensive caroms. It was CCSU's highest rebounding total since collectiving 51 against Brown on Dec. 2, 2015.

Sacred Heart Notes:
•  Joseph Lopez hit 12-of-18 shots last week and has now hit 56 of his last 80 attempts from the field, a 70 percent conversion rate. He collected his fourth double-double of the year in the NEC-opener with a carer-high 23 points and a career-best 16 rebounds. He is second in the NEC in rebounding (8.6 rpg).
•  Quincy McKnight ranks third in the league, scoring 18.3 points per game, and Charles Tucker ranks third in the NEC, dishing out 4.2 assists per game.
•  The Pioneers lead the NEC, averaging 14.53 assists per game.

Mount St. Mary's Notes:
•  Sophomore Chris Wray hit a game-winner in the opener at LIU Brooklyn, going coast-to-coast to give the Mount a 67-65 win. Wray was a hero against Wagner when he swatted away a Wagner shot at the buzzer to preserve a 67-65 win.
•  Elijah Long earned "NEC Prime Performer" recognition last week after averaging 16.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg and 2.0 spg in the league's opening weekend. He had 21 points against LIU Brooklyn and hit the game-winning foul shots with 28.7 seconds to play against Wagner.
•  The Mountaineers held its opponents to just 60.5 points per game in the first two NEC games of the year, which ranks second in the NEC in the early-going.

Last Time Out
  CCSU erased a 12-point deficit in the second half before falling in overtime, 86-77, at St. Francis Brooklyn on Dec. 31. Senior Tidell Pierre had 15 points and 19 rebounds for the Blue Devils and senior Khalen Cumberlander had a team-high 18 points.
   Sophomore Austin Nehls added 16 points and sophomore Eric Bowles finished with 10 points.
   Bowles hit a three-pointer with 0:02 to play to send it to overtime after CCSU erased a four-point deficit in the final 33 seconds. The Terriers would score eight straight to pull away in overtime after junior Mustafa Jones got Central within one point.
   St. Francis led 45-33 with 16:39 to play, before CCSU would chip away at the lead. A jumper by Jones would start a 9-1 spurt, capped off by a Nehls three-pointer and CCSU would get within 46-42. Cumberlander scored 10 straight for Central in a 2:23 span to help give CCSU a 58-56 lead with 5:24 to go. The teams would be tied four times and trade leads four times down the stretch. A pair of foul shots put SFBK ahead 67-63 with 33 seconds to set up Bowles' last-second trifecta.
   Pierre would collect a double-double before halftime with 11 points and 14 rebounds in the opening period. The Blue Devils shot 39.7 percent (27-68) for the game and held a convincing 51-37 rebounding margin. 

Up Next
   Following Saturday's home game against Mount St. Mary's, the Blue Devils will travel to LIU Brooklyn on Jan. 12, before hosting defending NEC champion, Fairleigh Dickinson, on Jan. 14. Central will travel to Robert Morris and Saint Francis U. on Jan. 19 & 21 before returning to Detrick Gymnasium for three straight home games on Jan. 25, 28 and Feb. 2.