Men's Basketball Clamps Down Bryant, 64-59, Saturday

Men's Basketball Clamps Down Bryant, 64-59, Saturday

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team clamped down on the Bryant offense in the second half to win 64-59 on Saturday afternoon at Detrick Gymnasium. The Blue Devils held the Bulldogs to one field goal over the final 8:19 and erased a 13-point deficit by closing the game on a 21-3 run. The win was the second straight at home for CCSU and improved its record to 10-13 overall and 4-6 in the Northeast Conference.

Senior Tyler Kohl posted his second straight double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds, while junior Jamir Coleman posted his second career double-double with 10 points and a career-best 11 rebounds. Freshman Ian Krishnan added 16 points. 

CCSU shot 20-of-56 (.357) from the field as a team and connected on seven three-pointers. The Blue Devils shot 17-of-21 (.810) at the foul line and held a 49-36 margin in rebounding.

Central travels to Saint Francis U on Thursday, Feb. 7. The 5:00 p.m. game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Bryant scored the first four points of the game before freshman Karrington Wallace hit a jumper to put CCSU on the board. The Blue Devils would take their first lead of the day a short time later with a 7-0 run. Junior Jamir Coleman made a three-pointer to open the spurt. Two foul shots by senior Tyler Kohl put Central in front 7-6 before a jumper by freshman Ian Krishnan capped the spurt and made it 9-6.

Central endured a nearly four-minute scoreless stretch before regaining the lead with seven straight points midway through the period. Kohl hit a three-pointer to make it 14-13 before Krishnan followed with a pair of foul shots to make it 16-13 with 8:04 to play in the half. Kohl would convert a layup to extend the lead to five points.

The Bulldogs would close within a point on two occasions, but Central would answer with a basket each time. Sophomore Harrison Kay followed a Bryant layup with a bucket of his own to make it 20-17. After Bryant cut the lead to a point, Krishnan hit a three-pointer to make it 23-19. Sophomore Kashaun Hicks would hit a driving layup to extend the lead to 25-19 as CCSU held Bryant scoreless for a three-minute span.

Bryant responded with an 8-0 run to retake the lead and held CCSU without a field goal over the final 3:30. Adam Grant's three-pointer with 1:20 to go made it 27-25. A Krishnan foul shot interrupted the spurt before back-to-back trey's by Grant and Byron Hawkins extended the run to 14-1 and made it 33-26 at halftime.

Central shot 9-of-27 (.333) in the opening half and was just 3-of-11 (.273) from the three-point arc. Krishnan had eight points to lead CCSU in the opening period.

The Blue Devils would open the second half with a putback from senior Deion Bute. The Bulldogs would come back with five unanswered points to extend the run to 22-3 over nearly 10:00 spanning both periods. A layup by SaBastian Townes pushed the Bryant lead to double-digits at 38-28. A three-pointer by Juan Cardenas with 13:42 remaining forced a CCSU timeout and made it 41-28.

CCSU would cut the Bryant lead to 45-39 with 11:12 remaining. Kohl would roll of five straight points, including a three-point play to cut the deficit to six. 

Hawkins would respond with four straight foul shots to push the lead back to double-digits. The teams would trade layups on alternating possessions, before Hawkins came back with five straight and made it 56-43 on a three-pointer with 8:19 to play to give Bryant its largest lead of the game.

The Blue Devils then began their late surge with the closing run, holding Bryant to 1-of-14 shooting after the Hawkins three-pointer. Coleman opened the charge with a foul shot followed by a Krishnan jumper to get within 56-46. After a Bryant foul shot, Krishnan hit a three-pointer and Coleman hit a jumper to make it 57-51 with 4:38 to play. 

A bankshot three-pointer by freshman Michael Underwood cut the deficit to 57-54 with 2:38 left. Kohl would hit a running layup with 1:36 to play and make it a one-point game. Kohl put CCSU in front with two foul shots on the next possession and add another on the following tip to extend CCSU's run to 15-0 and make it a 61-57 lead. A Joe Kasperzyk layup would make it 61-59 with nine seconds left, but Central hit 3-of-4 foul shots to close the game's scoring out.

Hawkins led Bryant with 17 points as the Bulldogs shot 21-of-66 (.318) in the game and was 8-of-31 (.258) from three-point range. The Bulldogs were just 9-of-13 (.692) at the foul line.