The Central Connecticut men's basketball team was unable to overcome a slow start and fell at North Carolina A&T, 72-60, on Thursday night in Greensboro, NC. The Blue Devils managed to cut a double-figure deficit to four points early in the second half, but the Aggies would hold off the charge and pull away for the win. Junior Joe Hugley posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead CCSU.
The loss drops CCSU to 4-4 on the season.
The Blue Devils are back in action on Saturday night when they travel to #13 Virginia Tech.
The Aggies hit their first three shots and jumped out to a 9-0 lead. Ibrahim Sylla had six points during the spurt and his basket to close the run forced a CCSU timeout with 17:52 left in the half.
A runner by junior Tyson Batiste ended the scoreless stretch. NC A&T hit 7-of-11 shots to open the game and built a 15-2 lead after a dunk by Malik Gantz.
The Blue Devils trailed by as much as 25-10 before using a 10-2 run to trim the deficiit to single digits. The CCSU defense held the Aggies scoreless for three minutes and junior Joe Hugley had five points during the spurt, including a three-pointer to get CCSU within 27-20.
Central would have a chance to cut the deficit closer with a final possession in the first half, but a turnover would keep the Aggies lead at 33-25 heading into the intermission.
CCSU would shoot just 6-of-25 (.240) from the field in the opening half and committed 11 turnovers. Hugley scored 11 points and the Blue Devils went 11-of-13 (.846) at the foul line with a 20-13 rebounding edge to keep the game within single digits.
The Aggies came right back with eight unanswered points to push the lead back to double figures. The NC A&T run would extend to 14-2. A dunk by Sylla would make it 53-37 with 13:34 remaining.
Batiste would hit 1-of-2 foul shots to get Central within 62-52, but the Aggies would score six unanswered and the Blue Devils woul not get any closer.
Hugley led the Blue Devils with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Krishnan added 14 points, while Coleman finished with nine points.
Central shot 18-of-58 (.310) from the field and just 4-of-23 (.174) from three-point range. The Blue Devils were 20-of-25 (.800) at the foul line and held a 43-33 rebounding edge.
Sylla finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the Aggies. Qua Copeland added 16 and Milik Gantz had 11. NC A&T shot 24-of-52 (.462) overall and 7-of-24 (.292) at the foul line.
The Blue Devils travel to #13 Virginia Tech on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.