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Men's Basketball Drops NEC Opener to Wagner on Thursday

Men's Basketball Drops NEC Opener to Wagner on Thursday

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team fell to Wagner 80-58 at Detrick Gymnasium on Thursday night in the Northeast Conference opener for both schools. The Seahawks used a 13-0 run in the opening period to build a double-digit lead they would not reliquish. The loss drops CCSU to 6-8 overall and 0-1 in the NEC, while Wagner moves to 6-6 overall and 1-0 in the league.

Junior Joe Hugley and sophomore Kashaun Hicks led three Blue Devils in double-figures with 14 points each. Central played without leading scorer, senior Tyler Kohl, who missed the game due to injury.

The Blue Devils travel to Sacred Heart on Saturday as part of a doubleheader. The CCSU women tip off against SHU at 1:00 p.m. and the men's game will follow at 3:30 p.m.

Wagner's Nigel Jackson opened the game's scoring with a three-pointer on the opening possession, but Central came back with a quick 6-1 run to take an early lead. A slashing layup by junior Tyson Batiste made it 6-4 at the 16:06 mark. The CCSU defense would hold the Sehawks without a field goal for nearly five minutes before a three-pointer by Romone Saunders with 14:41 to play in the opening period.

The Seahawks would go ahead 12-8 in the early going on a Chase Freeman three-pointer before the Blue Devils got a foul shot from junior Joe Hugley and a stepback jumper from freshman Ian Krishnan to cut the deficit to one point at the 12:11 mark.

Wagner responded by holding Central scoreless during a 13-0 run to push the lead to double-digits midway through the period. A trifecta by Saunders at the 9:34 mark would force a CCSU timeout after pushing the lead to 23-11. The margin grew to 14 points before a layup by freshman Karrington Wallace ended the CCSU scoring drought.

Central would outscore Wagner 7-1 during a stretch late in the period and get within 31-22 following a pair of foul shots by Hicks. Hicks, who scored nine straight for Central, followed a Wagner trey with five unanswered points on his own to cut the deficit to 34-29 with 1:34 to go in the half. 

The Seahawks scored four straight points before Krishnan and Devin Liggeons traded three-pointers to close the period and give Wagner a 41-32 lead at the break.

Central was 11-of-25 (.440) from the field in the opening period, but just 2-of-7 (.286) from the three-point arc. Hicks had a season-high 13 points, on 5-of-7 shooting, in the opening period to pace CCSU.

Junior Jamir Coleman came out of halftime with six straight points for Central, but a three-pointer by Liggeons kept Wagner in front by double-figures, 52-42, with 15:04 to play. The Seahawks would maintain their lead with CCSU getting no closer than 54-47 with 12:49 to play. The Seahawks would push the lead back to double-figures and built their largest lead of the night with the final margin.

Hugley led CCSU and was 12-of-17 at the foul line, while adding nine rebounds. Hicks finished with a season-high 14 points. Krishnan added 10 points. Batiste had six assists with four points.

Central shot just 19-of-51 (.373) for the game and was 3-of-20 (.150) from the arc.

Elijah Davis had a game-high 19 points to lead three Seahawks in double-figures. Wagner shot 22-of-52(.423) from the floor and was 15-of-35 (.429) from three-point range. Wagner held a 36-30 edge in rebounding.

Central travels to Sacred Heart on Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. tipoff.





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