The Central Connecticut men's basketball team travels to DePaul on Wednesday for a game that will be televised nationally on FS1. The game is set for a 9:00 p.m. Eastern tipoff from Wintrust Arena.
Central is riding a five-game win streak, its longest since 2011-12, after rallying past Brown, 68-62, on Saturday. DePaul is coming off an 89-73 win over Youngstown St. on Saturday. The Blue Demons are off to a 3-4 start after being slotted 10th in the preseason BIG EAST coaches' poll.
GAMEDAY INFORMATION | Wintrust Arena (Chicago, IL)
TODAY'S GAME • Central Connecticut has won five straight games for the first time since 2011 and will be facing DePaul for the first time. The game will be available live on FS1. CCSU head coach Donyell Marshall played at UConn (1991-94), while DePaul head coach Dave Leitao was an assistant on the Huskies' staff and recruited Marshall. The two later coached together in the NBA G League for the Maine Red Claws in 2011-12. Following Wednesday's game, CCSU heads to Northern Illinois (Dec. 9). Central will break for finals before going to Boston College on Dec. 17 and hosting Maine on Dec. 20.
LAST TIME OUT • CCSU erased a double-digit deficit in the second half to rally past Brown, 68-62, on Saturday at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The win extended CCSU's win streak to five games as it improved to 5-3 on the season. Junior Austin Nehls scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Blue Devils, while junior Eric Bowles chipped in a career-high 14 points, 12 in the second half, to go with six assists and junior Deion Bute had 12 points and eight rebounds. Brown led 31-27 after halftime and would push the lead to double-digits early in the second half with a 14-0 run that pushed the lead to 45-30. Still trailing by 11 with 13:09 to play, the Central defense would hold to Bears without a field goal, and just four free throws, over the next 6:39. A three-pointer by Nehls with 12:43 to play began a run of nine unanswered points. The Blue Devils would eventually tie the game at 54-all. A Brown layup with 6:26 to play would end its drought, but CCSU would rattle off five straight points to take its first lead of the half at 59-58. The Blue Devils would close the game by outscoring Brown, 9-2, to complete the comeback.
SERIES NOTES • The Blue Devils and Blue Demons are meeting for the first time.
BLUE DEVILS IN THE NEWS • Central's current win streak has landed the Blue Devils in the news on both the local and national stage. The Blue Devils were spotlighted on ESPN SportsCenter as part of the KC's Mid-Major Minute segment, hosted by Kevin Connors. Central was also the topic to lead off CollegeInsider.com's "Off the Bounce" on Monday, Dec. 4.
CT recognize CT! @CCSU_MBB & @Dmarsh42 are the focus of tonight's #KCsMidMajorMinute after holding the leading scorer in D-I in check & winning their 4th straight! @CCSUBlueDevils @NECralph @NECcommish @NECsports @NECHoopsRon pic.twitter.com/xuho0DcA7k— Kevin Connors (@kevconnorsespn) December 1, 2017
A WINNING NOTE • CCSU is currently riding its first five-game win streak since Nov. 19-Dec. 3, 2011. The Blue Devils last won six straight from Jan. 20-Feb. 9 when they won seven straight. Before the current win streak, Central hadn't won back-to-back games since Feb. 19-21, 2015, a span of 63 games. The Blue Devils have won their most non-conference games since 2010-11 (7) and are already one win from matching their total from 2016-17.
BOWLES IS POINTING THE WAY • Junior Eric Bowles has started the last three games and six games on the year at point guard. Over the past five games he is averaging 9.5 ppg and has a 1.88 assist-TO ratio. He had a career-high 14 points at Brown (5-10 fg, 2-3 3fg) with six assists in 34 minutes.
UP NEXT • Following Saturday's game, CCSU head to DeKalb to face Northern Illinois (Dec. 9). Central will go to Boston College on Dec. 17 before returning home to face Maine on Dec. 20.