The Central Connecticut men's basketball team was held off by Austin Peay, 80-78, in the opener of the Jersey Mike's Jamaica Classic on Friday morning. The teams were tied at halftime before APSU built a nine-point lead late in the second half and held off a CCSU rally. The Blue Devils move to 2-2 overall on the season with the setback.
Central is back in action to close the tournament out on Sunday, Nov. 18, in a 9:00 p.m. contest against Florida A&M.
Freshman Ian Krishnan led four Blue Devils in double-figures with 20 points. Sophomore Tyler Kohl added 14 points and senior Deion Bute chipped in 13 points. Junior Joe Hugley finished with 11 points.
Kohl added a team-high six rebounds and eight assists. Junior Jamir Coleman had two blocked shots to go with four points, four rebounds and three assists.
Central jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the opening 5:19 of the game, while limiting Austin Peay to 1-of-11 shooting. Freshman Ian Krishnan hit a three-pointer to open the scoring and had a baseline jumper, while senior Deion Bute hit a pair of inside baskets.
The Blue Devils led throughout much of the opening half and after the Governors cut the deficit to 13-12, eventually build its largest lead of the period after hitting three straight three-pointers. A triple by senior Tyler Kohl made it 31-22 with with 6:13 left in the half.
APSU responded with a 14-3 run over a span of 4:16 to take their first lead of the game. Zach Glotta hit two foul shots with 1:57 left in the half to make it 36-34.
The teams traded baskets heading into intermission and just before the horn, Kohl laid off a pass to Bute who got a layup as the horn sounded to make it 39-39 at the break.
CCSU shot 15-of-29 (.517) in the opening half and was 5-of-10 (.500) on three-pointers. Bute and Krishnan each had 10 points at halftime to lead the Blue Devils.
The Govs used a 7-0 run, while holding Central without a point for 2:25, to take their largest lead midway through the second half. A three-pointer by Dayton Gumm with 11:34 to play gave APSU a 62-53 lead.
Central would quickly answer with two straight baskets to cut the deficit to 62-57, but APSU would then hold the Blue Devils scoreless for over three minutes as the Blue Devils missed six straight field goals.
Central would hang around, holding APSU scoreless for three-plus minutes and a Krishnan triple ended the CCSU drought to cut the deficit to 64-60 with 6:52 to play.
Austin Peay would nudge the lead back to 73-65 with 3:27 remaining before Hugley started the late CCSU rally with a three-pointer with 2:24 to play. Sophomore Tyson Batiste followed with a jumper in the lane and sophomore Kashaun Hicks had a breakaway dunk to make it 76-74 with 17 seconds to play.
After a pair of APSU foul shots, Batiste would hit a dep three-pointer to make it 78-77 with 7.2 seconds left. APSU hit two foul shots and would then foul the Blue Devils before they could attempt a three-pointer. Kohl hit 1-of-2 foul shots and the Govs were able to run out the clock.
CCSU finished the game shooting 29-of-62 (.468) from the field and 10-of-24 (.417) at the three-point line. The Blue Devils were just 10-of-19 (.526) from the foul line.
Terry Taylor scored 21 points with 17 rebounds to lead APSU, which shot 26-of-64 (.406) from the field. The Govs were 10-of-27 (.370) on three-pointers and 18-of-19 (.947) at the foul line. Austin Peay outrebounded CCSU, 43-33, which translated to a 17-6 advantage in second-chance points.