A pair of foul shots with 3.7 seconds to play were the difference as Central Connecticut fell, 76-74, at Loyola Marymount in men's basketball action in Gersten Pavilion on Wednesday night. The Blue Devils led much of the night and got 22 points from senior Tyler Kohl and 21 points from junior Joe Hugley, but could not hold off the Lions' late 7-0 run.
Central slipped to 3-3 on the season with the loss, while Loyola Marymount improved to 6-0. The game was part of the Jersey Mike's Jamaica Classic.
The Blue Devils return home to host Pine Manor College on Sunday, Nov. 25, in a 4:00 p.m. tipoff at Detrick Gymnasium.
The CCSU defense would force LMU into missing five straight shots during a three-plus minute scoreless stretch, while the Blue Devils would hit four straight shots and use a 7-0 run to take a 30-22 lead with 6:02 left in the opening period. An up-and-under layup by senior Deion Bute would give Central its largest lead of the period.
The Lions would respond by holding CCSU scoreless for over four minutes during a stretch of missing six straight field goals. Dameane Douglas would hit a trifecta to get LMU within two points A three-pointer by junior Tyson Batiste would end the stretch and put Central ahead 33-28.
A three-point play by Hugley would push the Blue Devils into halftime with a 36-33 lead. Central hit 6-of-12 three-pointers in the opening period and would shoot 13-of-27 (.481) overall from the field in the period. Hugley hit all three of his field goals, including a pair of three-pointers to lead Central with 11 points in the half.
The Lions would take a 39-38 lead early in the second half after a Jeffery McLendon layup. CCSU started the second half just 1-of-7 from the field in the second half.
LMU would push the lead to 41-38 before Hugley went on a run of five unanswered points to give CCSU the lead again. His fourth three of the night to give Central a 48-44 lead with 12:13 to play.
The Blue Devils would continue their hot shooting, hitting 9-of-11 at one point late in the half. A running layup by senior Tyler Kohl as the shot clock ran down would put Central ahead 74-69 with 1:49 to play.
The Lions would hit their final four shots and a layup by Mattias Markusson would open a closing run with 49 seconds to go. LMU tied it on a layup by James Batemon with 35 seconds to play to make it 74-74. LMU would close the game with a 7-0 run in the final 49 seconds.
Central would have the ball and set up for a final shot with under 30 seconds to play. The Blue Devils got off a three-point attempt, but a loose ball foul was called on the rebound and LMU got two foul shots. Zafir Williams would hit both foul shots with 3.7 seconds to play.
The Blue Devils' last second shot was off the back iron and the Lions escaped with the win.
Hugley finished the night 6-of-7 from the field and 4-of-5 on three-pointers to score a season-high 21 points. Kohl led CCSU with 22 points with five rebounds and five assists.
Junior Jamir Coleman grabbed a team-high seven rebounds with nine points.
The Blue Devils shot 25-of-51 (.490) and hit 10-of-20 (.500) from the arc. Central was 14-of-16 at the foul line.
LMU had four in double-figures, led by Batemon's 26 points. The Lions held a 30-24 rebounding edge, while shooting 26-of-50 (.520) from the field. LMU was also 18-of-23 at the foul line and 6-of-17 from the arc.
Central returns to Detrick Gym to host Pine Manor College on Sunday at 4:00 p.m.