The Central Connecticut men's basketball team fell to 3-8 on the season with a 65-62 home loss to Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon. Central led by three in the final seconds, but a three-pointer and a foul, followed by a made free-throw by Coastal pushed the visitors to the victory.
With the win Coastal is now 6-6 overall on the season. The two teams will meet in two weeks in Myrtle Beach on Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.
Juniors Kyle Vinales (20) and Malcolm McMillan (19) led the offense as the Blue Devils lost for just the second time at home this season. Vinales had six threes, and McMillan was 9-of-11 from the free-throw line in the loss.
McMillan's two free-throws with 31 seconds left gave the Blue Devils a 62-59 lead before Central called a timeout. Josh Cameron came down the floor for Coastal and hit a three with 22 seconds on the clock. He was fouled by Vinales, and made the free-throw to make it 63-62 in favor of the visiting team.
Vinales had a three-point attempt with six seconds on the clock but it was off the mark. He was 6-of-15 from three in the game. The six threes were a season-high.
McMillan was 4-of-7 from the field and hit two threes. He was the only Blue Devil to take a free-throw and hit 9-of-11, including 4-of-4 in the final minute.
Coastal Carolina outrebounded the Blue Devils 40-33, including 14 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second chance points. The Blue Devils were 11-of-31 from three, the most attempts from three this season and the most in a single game since they had 35 in a loss to Syracuse last season.
Central did dish out 16 assists on its 21 baskets, including six from junior De'Angelo Speech. It matched his career-high. He did not have a turnover and the Blue Devils had only 10 in the game. McMillan added four assists and a block. Sophomore Brandon Peel matched his season-high with three blocks.
Senior Matt Hunter had eight points and five reboounds in the loss. Cameron led CCU with 16 points while Elijah Wilson had 14 points and five rebounds. Warren Gillis added 13 points and El Hadji Ndieguene had a game-high 12 rebounds, including six on the offensive end of the floor.
The Blue Devils are off for eight days, returning to action on Dec. 29 at 1 p.m. at home hosting Albertus Magnus.