Central Connecticut fell to Sacred Heart at home on Saturday, 67-50, in Northeast Conference men's basketball action at Detrick Gymnasium. The Pioneers shot 59 percent from the field after halftime, while limiting the Blue Devils to 33 percent to pull away. Central slips to 12-15 overall and 3-9 in the NEC with the loss, while SHU improved to 9-18 overall and 4-10 in the league.
Junior Tyler Kohl was the only Blue Devil in double-figures, scoring 19 points with a team-high eight rebounds.
Central will travel to Saint Francis U on Thursday, Feb. 15, for a 7:00 p.m. contest.
The Blue Devils got off to a promising start and led, 10-9, following a three-pointer by junior Tyler Kohl in the early going. The Pioneers responded with 11 unanswered points over a 3:09 span to build a double-digit lead that it would not relinquish. De'von Barnett had six points in the spurt and a three-pointer by Sean Hoehn made it 20-10 at the 8:21 mark.
Junior Austin Nehls would score five straight to snap the SHU streak and get CCSU within 20-15. The Pioneers would push the lead back to 27-17, but junior Deion Bute and sophomore Chris Williams hit jumpers and a foul shot from senior Mustafa Jones would get Central back within 27-22. The teams would trade baskets to close the half and Sacred Heart would lead, 29-24, at halftime.
Sacred Heart scored the first eight points of the second half to push the lead to 37-24. Hoehn scored the final five points of the spurt, including a three-pointer at the 17:30 mark that forced a CCSU timeout.
The Pioneers would score eight unanswered to open a 13-1 run midway through the period. Barnett opened the spurt and a layup by Chris Robinsonwould make it 48-32 with 11:16 to play. A free throw by Bute would interrupt the run before a jumper from Barnette and a three-pointer by Kinnon LaRose would give SHU its largest lead of the day at 53-33 with 9:35 to play.
Sacred Heart would extend the lead to as much as 62-38 with 4:28 to play and Central would be unable to get any closer than the final margin. Freshman Kashaun Hicks would hit a pair of foul shots and Kohl would convert a steal and layup to close out the scoring and make it 67-50.
Central finished the game 18-of-53 (.340) from the field and was 2-of-21 (.095) from three-point range. The Blue Devils were 0-12 from the arc after halftime.
Kohl added two assists and a steal. Jones came off the bench with nine points, while Nehls added seven points, five rebounds and three assists. Williams finished with seven points.
Sacred Heart shot 24-of-55 (.436) from the field and was 8-of-19 (.421) from the arc. The Pioneers held a 36-29 rebounding edge.
Hoehn led SHU with 22 points, while LaRose and Barnett added 16 points each.
The Blue Devils will look to end their five-game slide when they travel to Saint Francis U on Thursday, Feb. 15.