Central Connecticut trailed throughout and fell at Sacred Heart, 73-61, on Saturday in Northeast Conference men's basketball action at the Pitt Center. CCSU would get as close as six points late in the second half, but the Pioneers would manage to hold off the rally and push the margin to double-figures at the foul line. Junior Jamir Coleman led three Blue Devils in double-figures with 20 points.
The loss drops Central to 6-9 overall and 0-2 in the NEC, while SHU is 6-9 overall and 2-0 in the league.
The Blue Devils travel to Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday night for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff.
Sacred Heart scored the first seven points of the game, before junior Jamir Coleman scored five straight for Central to make it 9-5 with 16:42 to go in the opening half.
The Pioneers would lead throughout the first half, but senior Tyler Kohl would score six straight for the Blue Devils, including three unanswered to get Central within 20-18 with 8:00 to play in the period.
SHU would respond by outscoring CCSU 7-1 over the next 1:13. A three-pointer by Koreem Ozier would give Sacred Heart a 25-18 lead.
The Blue Devils trailed, 29-21, before running off six straight points, including back-to-back layups by junior Tyson Batiste to cut the deficit to two points.
Sacred Heart responded with six straight points before a jumper by freshman Ian Krishnan ended the spurt to make it 35-29 with 1:18 to go in the half. Sean Hoehn answered with a three-pointer to give the Pioneers their largest lead of the period before an up-and-under layup by freshman Karrington Wallace got CCSU within 38-31 at the intermission.
CCSU shot 36.1 percent (13-of-36) in the opening half and was just 2-of-14 (.143) from three-point range in the opening period. The Pioneers held a 23-14 rebounding edge, but committed nine turnovers in the opening half.
The Pioneers pushed the lead to double-figures early in the second half after Hoehn scored five straight and two foul shots by E.J. Anosike made it 45-33.
Central came back with six unanswered after back-to-back hoops by Coleman and a driving layup by freshman Thai Segwai made it 45-49 with 15:28 to play.
SHU scored five straight to push the lead back to double-figures. The Pioneers pushed the lead to as much as 54-41 after a EJ Anosike foul shot with 12:01 to play.
CCSU would get within single-digits after six unanswered points. Hugley and Kohl hit consecutive layups before two foul shots by Hugley made it 56-50 with 8:17 remaining.
The Blue Devils would be unable to cut the deficit to closer than six points as Sacred Heart would answer the CCSU charge with five points. SHU would go 6-of-6 at the foul line in the last 1:11 to close out the final margin.
Coleman added a team-high nine rebounds for CCSU, while Kohl finished with 15 points and Hugley had 11 points. CCSU committed just five turnovers in the game, but was unable to overcome shooting just 23-of-71 (.324) overall and 4-of-26 (.154) from the three-point line.
Anosike finished with 20 points for the Pioneers, who had four players in double-figures. SHU held a 47-31 rebounding edge and shot 22-of-53 (.415) overall. The Pioneers were 6-of-23 (.261) from the arc, but 23-of-31 at the foul line, while Central was just 11-of-17 at the stripe.
CCSU is back in action on Thursday night at Fairleigh Dickinson.