Men's Basketball Comes Up Short in Rally at Saint Francis U, 90-85

Men's Basketball Comes Up Short in Rally at Saint Francis U, 90-85

The Central Connecticut men's basketball team trimmed a 21-point deficit to single digits at Saint Francis U, but fell short 90-85 on Thursday at DeGol Arena. Senior Tyler Kohl scored a career-high 35 points to lead three Blue Devils in double-figures. The loss drops CCSU to 10-14 on the season and 4-7 in Northeast Conference play.

Kohl went 11-of-24 from the field and 12-of-16 at the foul line. He added seven assists, five rebounds and four steals. Junior Jamir Coleman posted his second straight double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman Ian Krishnan scored 17 points.

Central shot 30-of-68 (.441) overall and was 6-of-20 (.300) from the three-point arc. CCSU was 19-of-26 (.731) at the foul line, but was outrebounded 40-36.

Central travels to Robert Morris on Saturday for a 4:00 p.m. tipoff. The game will be available on ESPN+.

Senior Tyler Kohl had CCSU's first 10 points. Following his first three-pointer of the game, the Red Flash came back with nine straight points. A three-pointer by Jamaal King made it 14-5 at the 15:47 mark.

A three-point play by Kohl would break up the run, but the Red Flash came back with eight unanswered points. A layup by King would cap a 17-3 run and give the Red Flash a 22-8 lead.

CCSU managed to trim the deficit after two foul shots from Kohl and two more from junior Jamir Coleman to make it 22-12. 

The Blue Devils would use a quick 7-0 charge midway through the period to get within single digits. Kohl opened the spurt with foul shots. A three-pointer by freshman Ian Krishnan was followed by a short basket by freshman Karrington Wallace to make it 28-23 with 8:36 left in the half.

Central was within 36-32 and had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but the Red Flash would respond with seven straight points. A three-pointer by Isaiah Blackmon made it 41-32 with 3:42 to go in the half. A layup by King would push the lead back to double-figures.

CCSU trimmed the deficit just before halftime with Coleman and junior Joe Hugley hitting two foul shots each and a layup by Kohl just before halftime would make it 48-40 at the intermission.

Kohl led all scorers with 18 points in the first half. He added four assists and two steals, while going 9-of-11 at the foul line.

The Blue Devils shot 11-of-32 (.344) in the period and was 3-of-10 (.300) from the three-point arc. Central took advantage of its trips to the foul line, going 15-of-17 (.882) in the opening half.

The Red Flash would open the second half with a quick 9-2 run and knocked down a pair of three-pointers to push the lead to 60-44. Randall Gaskins' trifecta with 17:58 to play gave SFU its largest lead of the night to that point.

SFU would increase the lead to as much as 65-46 with 16:45 to play. Batiste would hit a driving layup and Kohl would finish a three-point play to make it 72-57 with 12:46 to play. A three-pointer by Krishnan would cap a spurt of six unanswered points for the Blue Devils with 11:51 remaining.

Saint Francis quickly pushed the lead to 20 points after scoring seven unanswered points. A layup by Mark Flagg and foul shot by Keith Braxton made it 81-60 with 10:13 to play.

Central would push to get back into the game, running off 12 unanswered points. A jumper by Krishnan was followed by two Kohl free throws. A three-pointer by junior Tyson Batiste made it 82-69 with 8:25 to play. A foul shot by Wallace and a jumper by Kohl cut the deficit to 82-74 with just over six minutes to play.

The Red Flash pushed the lead back to double-figures with back-to-back hoops and led 88-76 with 4:00 remaining. Krishnan hit a jumper to begin a spurt of seven unanswered points. Hugley followed with a three-pointer with 2:18 to play and a layup by Kohl with 1:03 left made it 88-83. CCSU had a chance to cut it to a one-possession game but missed a shot and SFU would hit to foul shots to make it 90-83 before Kohl made a layup as time expired for the final points.

Blackmon and Braxton led five in double-figures for SFU with 19 points each. Braxton added 15 rebounds and eight assists. The Red Flash shot 31-of-62 (.500) overall and was 11-of-26 (.423) from the arc. SFU went 17-of-24 (.708) at the foul stripe.

CCSU plays at Robert Morris on Saturday in a 4:00 p.m. contest on ESPN+.