Men's Basketball Rally Comes Up Short at Northern Illinois

Men's Basketball Rally Comes Up Short at Northern Illinois

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team mounted a second half rally at Northern Illinois, but came up just short, falling 61-55 at the NIU Convocation Center. Junior Tyler Kohl led all scorers and three Blue Devils in double-figures with 20 points. The loss drops Central to 5-5 overall on the season.

The Blue Devils will be off until they go to Boston College on Dec. 17.

Kohl would grab a game-high nine rebounds as well, narrowly missing his second double-double of the season. Junior Deion Bute added 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting, along with seven rebounds and freshman Kashaun Hicks added a career-high 11 points and hit three three-pointers to help spark the Central rally.

The Blue Devils trailed throughout the day as Northern Illinois scored the first four points of the game and built a 11-4 lead after hitting five of its first nine shots. The lead would grow to 16-4 for the Huskies before the Blue Devils were able to get within four points.

A pair of foul shots by junior Tyler Kohl would open an 8-0 run by Central. A layup by junior Deion Bute would get CCSU within, 16-12 with 8:39 to go in the period.

NIU would end the Central run with six straight point and pushed the lead to as much as 35-20 late in the first half. Back-to-back layups by Bute in the final minute would make it 35-24 at the intermission.

Kohl opened the second half scoring Central's first nine points and the Huskies would go nearly four minutes without a basket. Kohl would convert a three-point play that opened an 11-0 run for the Blue Devils. Back-to-back threes by freshman Kashaun Hicks would make it 46-41 with 10:58 to play.

The Huskies would answer with a layup before Hicks hit his third trey to get Central within, 48-44 midway through the second half. 

NIU would push the lead back to eight points before CCSU would manage to trim the deficit to a single possession. A followup by Hicks with 2:57 to play would make it 58-53 and a pair of foul shots by Kohl with 1:19 to go got the Blue Devils within three points. 

Central had a possession to try and tie the game, but NIU forced a turnover with 32 seconds to play. The Huskies would hit 3-of-4 from the foul line to close the game and settle the final margin.

CCSU shot 39.6 percent from the field (21-of-53) and 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from the arc. The Blue Devils were 8-of-11 (.727) at the foul line and outrebounded NIU, 37-28.

Eugene German led NIU with 19 points. The Huskies shot 42.6 percent (20-of-47) overall and 7-of-19 (.368) from three-point range. NIU was 14-of-23 (.609) at the foul line.

Central returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 17, at Boston College.