The Central Connecticut men's basketball team fell in overtime at LIU Brooklyn, 94-89, in Northeast Conference action on Saturday. The Blue Devils erased an 18-point deficit in the second half to send the game to overtime on junior Deion Bute's putback at the horn. Junior Tyler Kohl narrowly missed a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists for CCSU.
The loss ends Central's four-game win streak and puts it at 12-11 overall and 5-5 in the NEC. LIU improves to 10-13 overall and 5-5 in the NEC.
Kohl led six Blue Devils in double-figures. Freshman Kashaun Hicks scored a career-high 15 points off the bench, while Bute finished with 13 points and eight rebounds and senior Mustafa Jones had 12 points. Sophomores Tyson Batiste and Joe Hugley each added 11 points.
Senior Mustafa Jones would give CCSU a 14-13 lead at the 12:57 mark of the opening half before LIU ran off seven straight points to take the lead it would hold for most of the rest of the game. Raiquan Clark had four points in the spurt and his three-point play would make it 20-14.
Back-to-back hoops from Jones and sophomore Joe Hugley would get Central within, 28-27, but the Blackbirds would roll of seven unanswered points. Jamall Robinson would score four straight to open the run and Julian Batts would hit three foul shots to make it 35-27.
LIU would build the lead to double-figures before a running layup by sophomore Tyson Batiste just before halftime made it 48-39 at the intermission.
The Blackbirds would score 12 straight points early in the second half to push the lead to double-figures. A pair of foul shots by Joel Hernandez made it 64-46 with 14:42 remaining, marking the largest lead of the night.
Central would mount a charge to cut the deficit to single-digits. Hugley hit a three-pointer with 9:32 remaining to start a 12-3 run. A layup by Kohl with 6:31 left would get CCSU within, 71-65.
The Blackbirds would push the margin to 78-70 with 3:57 to play before the Blue Devils ran off eight straight points. Batiste would hit a foul shot to begin the spurt and his running layup with 1:27 left tied the game at 78-78.
The teams traded pairs of foul shots on the next two possessions before Hernandez had a put back for LIU with 11 seconds left to make it 82-80.
Freshman Kashaun Hicks was fouled on the ensuing CCSU possession, but after missing the first free throw with just over a second to play the Blue Devils still trailed by two. Hicks missed the second foul shot, but junior Deion Bute collected the rebound and his follow as time expired would send the game to overtime.
Kohl scored all sieven points in overtime for Central and his foul shot with 1:45 to go put CCSU ahead 87-83. The Blackbirds would get four points from Raiquan Clark to tie the game and following a Kohl jumper, Hernandez hit a three-pointer to give LIU a 90-89 lead. The Blackbirds went 4-of-4 at the line to clinch the game.
CCSU shot 34-of-79 (.486) from the field and went 6-of-21 (.286) from the arc. The Blue Devils committed just 11 turnovers, while forcing 16 LIU giveaways.
Clark had a game-high 30 points to lead five Blackbirds in double-figures. Hernandez had 18 points and 12 rebounds. LIU shot 28-of-59 (.492) overall and went 12-of-28 (.429) on three-pointers. LIU held a 38-36 rebounding edge.
The Blue Devils return to action on Thursday, Feb. 1 at Wagner