Junior Kyle Vinales drained his fourth three pointer of the game and gave the Central Connecticut men's basketball team a 73-71 win on the road at St. Francis Brooklyn on Tuesday night. Vinales ended with 23 points in the game and added five assists as the Blue Devils won for the fourth time in five games.
With the win the Blue Devils are now 9-16 overall and 5-7 in Northeast Conference play. St. Francis is now 15-12 overall and 6-6 in the NEC.
Central was down one with under 15 seconds to play in the game, and the ball was in the hands of Vinales. He calmly drained his fourth three of the game from 23 feet to give the Blue Devils the two point lead. Central stole the inbounds pass, after a Terrier timeout, to seal the win.
The steal was the 14th of the game for the Blue Devils, the most in a single game since they had 14 on the road at Robert Morris last season.
The game was originally scheduled for last Thursday but was postponed due to the winter storm.
The Blue Devils return to action Thursday night at home vs. Mount St. Mary's beginning at 7 p.m. They will also play on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Bryant in their third game of the week.
Central turned the ball over just 11 times in the game, and seven players played over 20 minutes in the game for the Blue Devils. Noone played more than 30 in the victory.
Central trailed 40-35 at halftime after shooting just 13-of-34 from the field. Vinales had 14 points to lead all scorers. He was 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from three, including one at the first half buzzer to cut the lead to five.
Ben Mockford made four threes before halftime to lead the Terriers with 12 points. St. Francis was 15-of-33 from the field and 8-of-12 from three and led by as many as 10 before the break.
Central tied the game quickly in the second half, 45-45, but the Terriers answered with a 10-5 run to take a five point lead, 55-50, with 11:43 to play.
Down 58-82 junior De'Angelo Speech highlighted an 8-0 run and the Blue Devils took the 60-58 lead with 7:08 left in the game.
The lead went back and forth between the two teams before the Terriers took a one point lead on a late free-throw with under 30 seconds to play. Vinales hit the three to secure the win.
Vinales had 23 and five assists, while Speech added eight points, three rebounds and three steals, most coming in the second half. The Blue Devils won for the third straight time when trailing at halftime. They had lost their first 12 games of the season when trailing at the half.
Sophomore Brandon Peel had 10 points and eight rebounds in the win. He also had a pair of blocks as Central blocked six in the victory. Juniors Faronte Drakeford and Malcolm McMillan each had eight points. Central was 15-of-22 from the line, 9-of-11 in the second half.
Central is back in action on Thursday night hosting Mount St. Mary's in the final regular season home game of the season. Game time is 7 p.m. in Detrick Gym.