The Central Connecticut men's basketball team went scoreless for over seven minutes in the second half and fell to Saint Francis U, 80-69, on Saturday in Northeast Conference action at Detrick Gymnasium. The Red Flash outscored the Blue Devils, 20-4, during a pivotal stretch of the second half to erase a five-point deficit. The loss drops Central to 8-10 overall and 2-3 in the NEC.
The Blue Devils are home against Robert Morris on Monday for an MLK Day doubleheader. The women's game tips off at 1:00 p.m. and the men's game follows at 3:30 p.m.
Central scored five straight to take a four-point lead early in the first half. A pair of foul shots by senior Deion Bute and a three-pointer by junior Jamir Coleman gave CCSU an early 12-8 lead at the 15:54 mark of the first half.
The Blue Devils held SFU scoreless for nearly three minutes and a jumper by senior Tyler Kohl pushed the Central run to seven unanswered points and gave the hosts a 14-8 lead.
The Red Flash would respond with five straight points to cut the Central lead to one. Freshman Ian Krishnan would come up with a steal and lay-in, but SFU's Keith Braxton hit a jumper at the other end to make it 16-15 with 11:58 to play in the opening period.
Saint Francis U would use a quick spurt of five unanswered points to take a 25-24 lead midway through the first half. Jamaal King's three-point play at the 8:28 mark gave the Red Flash a 25-24 lead.
The Blue Devils would hit 3-of-4 field goals during a stretch to retake the lead. Krishnan would score four straight and following an SFU basket, junior Tyson Batiste would finish a layup to make it 34-32 at the 4:00 mark.
A jumper by Coleman with 2:00 to go in the period would push the CCSU advantage to 37-34. Kohl would hit a short jumper to make it 39-34 at halftime.
Central shot 14-of-28 (.500) from the field in the opening half. CCSU went 4-of-10 from three-point range and committed just three turnovers in the opening period. Coleman led the way with 10 points for the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils scored seven straight and used an extended 10-2 run to pad the lead. Krishnan opened the second half with a trifecta to extend the lead to 42-34, giving CCSU its largest lead of the game.
SFU came back with 11-1 run and took a 45-43 lead on a Braxton three-pointer with 15:49 remaining. Freshman Thai Segwai responded with a trey for CCSU, but Braxton hit a jumper at the other end to make it 47-46 with 15:03 to play.
Central would regain the lead with a quick 6-1 spurt. Segwai opened the burst with a floater in the lane and after a Red Flash foul shot, Kohl would hit a free throw. Sophomore Kashaun Hicks hit a three-pointer to push the CCSU lead to 55-50 with 12:45 to play.
A pair of Hugley foul shots gave CCSU a 57-52 lead with 11:27 to play before the Red Flash would begin their closing run. A jumper by Coleman with 9:18 to play gave CCSU a three-point lead before Braxton's three-point play with 9:09 to play would make it 61-61. A three-pointer by Andre Woolford gave SFU the lead for good, 64-61.
SFU would extend the lead to 68-61 after a Braxton dunk with 4:47 to play to cap a 10-0 run. The Red Flash held CCSU scoreless until a pair of Coleman foul shots with 1:51 to play ended a 14-0 SFU run, but Saint Francis led 72-63 by then.
A three-pointer by Batiste would make it 72-66 with 1:14 to play, but Central would be unable to get closer.
CCSU finished the game shooting 23-of-61 (.377) overall and 8-of-22 (.364) from the three-point arc. Central committed just eight turnovers, but was outrebounded, 37-33.
Braxton led SFU with 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. The Red Flash shot 27-of-55 (.491) overall and was 13-of-24 (.542) from the field in the second half.