The Central Connecticut men's basketball team built an early lead and cruised to an 89-75 win over Florida A&M to wrap up play in Montego Bay, Jamaica, at the Jersey Mike's Jamaica Classic. Junior Jamir Coleman had a career-high 19 points and senior Tyler Kohl added 20 points and 12 rebounds to pace five Blue Devils in double-figures. The win improves CCSU to 3-2 on the season.
Kohl earned a spot on the Rose Hall Division All-Tournament Team in the event.
The Blue Devils return to action when they travel to Loyola Marymount for a Wednesday night contest.
Central used a stifling defense to build an early lead. The Blue Devils forced a pair of FAMU shot clock violations in the opening 4:14 and built a 9-2 cushion as junior Jamir Coleman had five quick points and senior Deion Bute added four points on the interior.
The Blue Devils defense held the Rattlers without a field goal for over for over a 6:00 span, as FAMU missed nine straight field goals. Central used a 9-1 run with senior Tyler Kohl scoring four points in the run to push the lead to 15-3.
CCSU would go 8-of-8 from the floor during a 15-2 run. Bute would score four straight points and give Central its largest lead of the period at 37-14.
The Blue Devils would go into halftime with a comfortable 46-27 lead after sophomore Ian Krishnan hit a jumper at the foul line with 24 seconds left in the period.
Central was 17-of-26 (.654) from the field in the opening half, including 4-of-8 (.500) from three-point range. CCSU held FAMU to just 9-of-25 (.360) from the field and 3-of-11 (.273) from the arc.
Coleman had a career-high 13 points in the first half, while Bute added 12 points. Kohl had four points, but also added eight rebounds and six assists in the opening 20 minutes.
Central would score the first four points of the second half and after a jumper by Coleman the Blue Devils took their largest lead of the night at 50-27. The Rattlers would come back with six unanswered points to trim the CCSU lead with 16:18 remaining.
The Rattlers would mount a charge with seven straight points to cut the Central led to 54:42. Kohl would put an end to the run with back-to-back buckets and a three-pointer from Krishnan pushed the lead back to 61-42 with 9:52 remaining.
The Blue Devils would hit five straight field goals, but went over three minutes without hitting a shot from the field after a three-pointer by junior Joe Hugley made it 68-48 with 7:30 to play. The Rattlers would use the field goal drought by Central to cut the deficit to 74-65 with 3:35 left.
Central would come back with four straight points and FAMU was unable to get within double-figures the rest of the way.
The Blue Devils shot 28-of-42 (.667) for the game and held a 36-25 rebounding edge.
Kohl added a game-high seven assists. Bute finished with 14 points, while Krishnan had 13 points and Hugley scored 10 points off the bench.
The Rattlers forced 22 turnovers and used them to score 26 points. Justin Ravenel scored 14 points, 11 of them coming at the foul line.