Men's Basketball Readies for Northern Illinois Saturday

Men's Basketball Readies for Northern Illinois Saturday

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team is back in action on Saturday afternoon at Northern Illinois. The game will be available live on ESPN3. The Blue Devils will be playing their final game before a week-long break during final exams.

CCSU is coming off a loss at DePaul on Wednesday that ended Central's first five-game win streak since 2011. The Huskies, who were picked fifth in the West division in the MAC preseason poll, are coming off a 94-80 loss at Iowa State on Monday.

GAMEDAY INFORMATION | NIU Convocation Center (DeKalb, IL)

CCSU (5-4) at Northern Illinois (5-4) | Saturday, Dec. 9 | 1:00 PM EST
VIDEO (ESPN3) | LIVE STATS | AUDIO | @KizerBlueDevil (In-game twitter updates)

GAME NOTES  |  2017-18 NCAA Rules Review Video 

TODAY'S GAME • Central Connecticut will be looking to bounce back at Northern Illinois after having its five-game win streak snapped at DePaul on Wednesday. The Blue Devils and Huskies will be meeting for just the third time, and the first since 1988. Following Saturday's game Central will break for finals before going to Boston College on Dec. 17 and hosting Maine on Dec. 20.
Central fell at DePaul, 85-57, on Wednesday night and had its five-game win streak come to an end. Junior Joe Hugley led Central with 11 points, all in the first half, to pace Central in scoring. Senior Mustafa Jones was the only other player in double-digits with 10 points and he added four assists. DePaul raced out the start to take a 12-4 lead before the first media timeout and would hold the lead the rest of the way. CCSU would hold DePaul scoreless over a span of 3:25 and a three-pointer from junior Eric Bowles would get the Blue Devils within, 31-23, but the Blue Demons would close out the half with eight unanswered points to take a 39-23 lead into halftime. Jones would score Central's first six points to open the second half as the Blue Devils would trim the deficit to single digits. Junior Austin Nehls would hit a three-pointer with 12:48 remaining to get CCSU within, 48-41, DePaul would respond by scoring 10 straight to push the lead back to double-figures and Central would not get closer than 60-46 the rest of the way.
Central Connecticut is playing Northern Illinois for the third time, and first time since 1988. The all-time series is tied, 1-1. The Blue Devils played in DeKalb on Feb. 13, 1988, in CCSU's second season at the NCAA Division I level.
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's "Off the Bounce" on Monday, Dec. 4.

 Sophomore Joe Hugley has given Central a lift this season with his play in 18.1 minutes off the bench. The 6-7 forward led CCSU in scoring at DePaul and has scored in double-figures in five games. He is averaging 9.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and shooting .475 from the field (.407 from the arc). He posted a career-high 21 points, 8 rebounds against North Carolina A&T.. 
Junior Eric Bowles has started the last four games and seven games on the year at point guard. During the five-game win streak he averaged 9.5 ppg and had 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. Bowles is currently among the NEC leaders in assists (4.0, 9th) and assist-turnover ratio (1.80, 3rd).
After today's game, CCSU will take a week-long break for finals before going to Boston College on Dec. 17 and hosting Maine on Dec. 20.