The Central Connecticut men's basketball team opens Northeast Conference play on Friday night against Saint Francis U at Detrick Gymnasium. The Blue Devils open league play at home for the first time since 2014-15 and host the Red Flash, the preseason pick by NEC coaches to win the league.
CCSU has won its last two games and is coming off a 76-73 win at UMass Lowell on Dec. 23 to post its most succesful non-conference record since 2010-11. The Red Flash have won three straight, most recently a 84-70 win over Lehigh on Dec. 21.
Tickets for CCSU home games can be purchased at CCSUTickets.com or at the box office upon entry to Kaiser Hall and Detrick Gymnasium. Admission for all CCSU students, faculty and staff is free of charge with a valid Blue Chip card.
All CCSU home games and Northeast Conference games are available to watch online, for free, at NECFrontRow.com.
GAMEDAY INFORMATION | Detrick Gymnasium (New Britain, CT)
TODAY'S GAME • Central Connecticut opens Northeast Conference play against the NEC preseason favorite Saint Francis U. The Blue Devils will host Robert Morris on New Year's Eve at 3:30 p.m.
SERIES HISTORY • The Blue Devils and Red Flash are meeting for the 40th time. CCSU leads the all-time series, 21-18. The teams split last year's meetings, with each winning on the other's home court.
LAST TIME OUT • CCSU closed out non-conference play with a 76-73 win at UMass Lowell on Dec. 23 at the Tsongas Center. The Blue Devils would hold off the River Hawks in a game that featured 12 ties and 12 lead changes. Mustafa Jones hit his first 11 shots of the day, en route to a career-high 24 points. Central got off to a fast start scoring the first seven points of the game. The Blue Devils would lead by as many as 10 points in the opening period, but the River Hawks would use a 9-0 run over a 2:31 span to take their first lead of the day. UMass Lowell would extend its lead to as much as five points, but a jumper by Jones with just under a minute to go in the half would make it 37-34 at halftime. Central would open the second half with a 10-2 spurt to regain the lead. Deion Bute opened the half with a layup before a three-point play by Jones opened a run of eight unanswered points. UMass Lowell would take its last lead of the day with 5:21 remaining to make it 67-66. Jones and Bute would each hit a foul shot on the next two CCSU possessions to put Central back in front for good. The River Hawks would get within a point on two occassions, but the Blue Devils were able to answer on the offensive end and seal the win.
GETTING OFFENSIVE • CCSU is 4-1 when shooting 50% or better from the field and 6-1 when scoring at least 70 points. Central's only loss when reaching those marks was in the opener, when CCSU scored 84 points and shot .518 at Hartford.
UP NEXT • Following Sunday's game againt Robert Morris, Central will travel to Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 4 and then on to Mount St. Mary's on Jan. 6.