The Central Connecticut men's basketball travels to Providence for a nationally televised game on FS1 on Sunday afternoon. The game will tip off at 2:00 p.m. in the teams' first meeting since Nov. 29, 2010. The Blue Devils have three remaining non-conference games, all of them on the road, before opening Northeast Conference play at home on Jan. 3.
Senior Tyler Kohl scored a game-high 21 points to lead four Blue Devils in double-figures in a 79-58 win over Penn State Wilkes-Barre on Dec. 8. Junior Joe Hugley added 17 points, freshman Ian Krishnan had 15 and senior Deion Bute finished with 12 points.
The Friars are 7-3 on the year, but fell to UMass, 79-78, in their last contest. Alpha Diallo leads the team with 17.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. A.J. Reeves, who ranks second on the team with 14.2 points per game will miss 4-6 weeks with a foot injury.
SERIES HISTORY • CCSU is at Providence for the teams' first meeting since Nov. 29, 2010. PC leads the all-time series, 5-2, with Central last winning, 54-50, on Dec. 21, 1999.
HUGLEY AT HOME COMING OFF THE BENCH • Joe Hugley has come off the bench to score in double-figures in each of the last 7 games. He is averaging 12.2 ppg this season and shooting 41.5% from the field (40.0% from three). Hugley had a double-double at NC A&T (18pts, 11reb) and scored a season-high 21 points at Loyola Marymount when he hit 6-of-7 shots, including 4-of-5 three-pointers. The 6-foot-7 forward is playing 19.4 minutes per game and has come off the bench to score in double-figures 18 times in his career. He had a career-high 33 at Fairleigh Dickinson (Jan. 4, 2018) when he shot 10-20 from the field and had 5-11 from the arc.
CCSU CLOSING STRONG • Central is 4-0 this season when leading with 5:00 to play. However, CCSU is 0-2 in games decided by 5 or fewer points. The Blue Devils have been strong at the foul line in the closing minutes, converting 34-45 (.756) in the final 5:00, while hitting 13-14 (.929) in the final 1:00 to close out contests.
UP NEXT • Following Sunday's game, Central will travel to Maine (Dec. 22) and Oregon State (Dec. 29) to close out the non-league schedule. The Blue Devils return home to host Wagner in the Northeast Conference opener on Jan. 3.