The Central Connecticut men's basketball team fell at home to Robert Morris, 70-59, in Northeast Conference action on Monday at Detrick Gymnasium. The Colonials took the lead in the first half and kept the Blue Devils at bay the rest of the afternoon to pick up the road win. The loss dropped CCSU to 8-11 overall and 2-4 in NEC play.
Junior Jamir Coleman led the Blue Devils with a career-high 27 points along with nine rebounds. Freshman Michael Underwood scored a career-high 16 points, but no other Blue Devil was in double-figures. CCSU shot 20-of-47 (.426) from the field as a team and was 6-of-18 (.333) from the three-point arc. Central held a 34-30 edge rebounding, but committed 18 turnovers.
Central is back in action on Thursday, Jan. 24, when it travels to Bryant for a 7:30 p.m. game.
The game opened as a defensive struggle with the teams combining to go 2-of-11 from the field with a combined nine turnovers in the opening five-plus minutes. Senior Tyler Kohl and Malik Petteway would hit back-to-back three-pointers as the Colonials took a 7-5 lead at the 13:32 mark.
The Colonials would open up a 17-10 lead midway through the first half after going on a 7-1 run. Freshman Michael Underwood would hit back-to-back three-pointers to get CCSU within 17-16 with 7:39 to go in the half.
Underwood would hit his third straight trifecta to give the Blue Devils a 19-17 lead with 6:53 to go in the half. RMU would respond with six unanswered points to build a four-point lead after a Petteway jumper and would not trail the rest of the afternoon.
Robert Morris would score five straight and a Josh Williams layup pushed the lead to 30-23 with 3:58 to go in the half. Underwood hit his fourth trey of the half to stem the tide and cut the deficit to 30-26.
Junior Jamir Coleman would hit a short jumper for Central, before Josh Williams' three just before halftime put the Colonials in front 36-28 at the break.
Underwood had 14 points in the opening period as CCSU was 5-of-10 from the three-point arc. The Blue Devils shot just 8-of-19 (.421) overall from the field and was slowed by 12 turnovers in the opening half.
The Colonials extended the lead to double-figures in the second half, holding Central scoreless for over 3:00. A layup by Coleman would make it 38-31 with 17:55 to play, but a three-pointer by McConnell pushed the Robert Morris lead to 41-31.
After an RMU foul shot, Coleman would end the CCSU scoring drought with a short jumper with 13:15 remaining. The Colonials would lead 47-35 after a pair of Sayveion McEwen free throws. Coleman, who accounted for Central's first 11 points of the second half, would keep the deficit within 10 points midway through the second half.
Freshman Thai Segwai would account for the first points by someone other than Coleman with a pair of foul shots with 9:39 to play to get Central within 52-41. Underwood followed with a putback layup to get the Blue Devils within 52-43.
Robert Morris would push the lead to 58-46 before Central trimmed the deficit to single-digits. A three-pointer by freshman Ian Krishnan followed by a Coleman jumper would get CCSU within 58-51 with 4:08 to play, but that was as close as the game would get. The Colonials would hit five foul shots in the final 1:18 before a layup by senior Deion Bute just before the final horn settled the final score.
Outside of Coleman and Underwood, the Colonials held CCSU shooters to 5-of-19 shooting from the field, with only Bute (2-of-4) collecting more than one field goal. Josh Williams led RMU in scoring with 15 points, while Petteway had 11 points and nine rebounds. The Colonials shot 22-of-50 (.440) from the field and was 8-of-22 (.364) from the arc.
CCSU travels to Bryant on Thursday night.