The Central Connecticut men's basketball team plays its final non-conference game when it travels to UMass Lowell on Saturday afternoon. The contest is the Blue Devils' final final game before Northeast Conference play begins on Dec. 29 at home against the preseason favorite, Saint Francis U.
CCSU is coming off a convincing, 84-57, win over Maine on Wednesday night, while UMass Lowell will be playing for the first time since Dec. 13. The River Hawks defeated Boston U. in their last contest.
GAMEDAY INFORMATION | Tsongas Center (Lowell, MA)
TODAY'S GAME • Central Connecticut closes out the non-conference portion of its schedule at UMass Lowell on Saturday. With a win over Maine on Wednesday, the Blue Devils have already matched their overall win total from the 2016-17 season.
SERIES HISTORY • The Blue Devils and River Hawks are playing for the 13th time. CCSU leads the all-time series, 9-3, but UML took last season's meeting, 86-69.
LAST TIME OUT • CCSU led wire-to-wire in an 84-57 win over Maine on Wednesday night at Detrick Gymnasium. The Blue Devils shot 52.5 percent from the field as a team, while holding the Black Bears to just 27.3 percent shooting. Junior Tyler Kohl led four in double-figures with 18 po9ints and 14 rebounds, to go with six assists. Kohl went 8-of-16 from the field, while posting his second double-double of the year. Junior Austin Nehls went 4-of-5 from the arc and finished with 15 points, while junior Deion Bute added 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting. Redshirt freshman Kashaun Hicks came of the bench to score 10 points with six rebounds. The Blue Devils opened the game scoring the first six points and grabbed control from the start. Bute would hit back-to-back layups to force a Maine timeout after making it 6-0. Central led throughout the opening period and did not allow the Black Bears closer than 8-5 in the early going. CCSU would close the half on a 7-0 run to take its largest lead of the period after two foul shots by Kohl would make it 44-28 at the break. CCSU would extend the lead with a Bute layup and a three-pointer by junior Austin Nehlsto push to make it 53-33 early in the second half. The Blue Devils would never lead by fewer than 18 the rest of the way following a Maine layup on the next possession. A layup by Bute with 7:10 to play would give Central its largest lead of the night at 73-44. Maine would be unable to get closer than 80-55 in the final minutes. Central finished the game 31-of-59 (.525) from the field, marking the fourth time this season shooting better than 50 percent. The Blue Devils outrebounded the Black Bears, 44-28, and committed just 10 turnovers.
A WINNING NOTE • CCSU's five-game win streak from Nov. 17-Dec. 2 was its longest since winning five straight from Nov. 19-Dec. 3, 2011. Before this season's win streak, Central hadn't won back-to-back games since Feb. 19-21, 2015, a span of 63 games. With six non-conference wins, the Blue Devils have won their most non-NEC games since 2010-11 (7) and have already matched their overall win total from 2016-17.
UP NEXT • CCSU opens Northeast Conference play on Dec. 29 against the NEC preseason favorite Saint Francis U. The Blue Devils host Robert Morris on New Year's Eve at 3:30 p.m.