Sophomore Kyle Vinales posted 34 points as the Central Connecticut men's basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak with a 77-70 win on the road at Robert Morris on Saturday night. The win is the first Northeast Conference victory of the season for Central. They are now 5-8 overall and 1-1 in league play.
Robert Morris is now 8-7 overall and 0-2 in the league with the loss. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Blue Devils.
Vinales posted 30 or more points for the fourth time in his career and the second time this season. He was just five points off his career-high of 39. He led four Blue Devils in double-figures as junior Terrell Allen added 12 and junior Matt Hunter and sophomore Adonis Burbage each had 11.
Central forced 16 turnovers in the victory, and Vinales, Malcolm McMillan and Hunter all had four steals. Hunter added eight rebounds and four assists to his tally.
Freshman forward Brandon Peel posted a career-high 11 rebounds including four on the offensive end. He added a steal and four points.
Central led by as many as six in the first half, fueled by 15 points from Vinales before the break. They held a 38-33 lead at halftime. He hit three threes and Allen added nine points before halftime. Central held the 20-16 edge on the boards.
The lead changed six times and it was tied on four occassions. After the Blue Devils led 31-26, the Colonials rattled off a 5-0 run to tie the game for the sixth time. The Blue Devils went on a 7-2 run to finish the half and take the 38-33 lead.
In the second half the fourth three of the game from Vinales made it 49-40 with 15:42 on the clock. He had five quick points to led Central. It was an 11 point edge at 51-40 after another Vinales jumper, before nine straight points from the Colonials cut the lead to 51-49.
Velton Jones hit a three point shot and the RMU run reached 14-2 as they took a 54-53 lead. A Vinales jumper and three points from Allen made it 58-54 CCSU.
The lead went back to seven, but five quick points, including a three, cut it to 63-61 in favor of CCSU. Central led 70-65 with 3:03 left as Vinales reached the 30 point mark for the fourth time in his career.
Up 72-68 the Blue Devils missed the front end of a one-and-one and the Colonials hit a jumper on the other end to make it 72-70 with 54 seconds to play. On their next possession Hunter hit a running shot in the lane to push the lead to four. They forced a turnover on the other end and then Vinales made two free-throws to make it 76-70 with 15.6 to play.
The Blue Devils return to action next Thursday night hosting Sacred Heart beginning at 7 p.m. in Detrick Gym. Fans can listen to the game live on Fox Sports Radio 1410 and ESPN Radio 1300 in New Haven. You can also watch the game live on www.NECFrontRow.com.