The Central Connecticut men's basketball team earned a hard-fought, 77-68, Northeast Conference win at Robert Morris on Saturday. The Blue Devils shot 65 percent in the second half and had four players in double-figures to improve to 11-14 overall and 5-7 in the NEC.
Senior Tyler Kohl scored a game-high 23 points with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Senior Deion Bute added a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while junior Joe Hugley came off the bench with 15 points and seven rebounds. Hugley accounted for 13 points after halftime. Freshman Ian Krishnan had three three-pointers and finished with 14 points.
Central shot 27-of-55 (.491) from the field for the game and was 8-of-18 (.444) from the three-point arc. The Blue Devils shot a scorching .652 (15-of-23) in the second half and connected on 5-of-7 (.714) three-pointers. CCSU held a 41-33 rebounding advantage in the win and did not commit a turnover in the final 15:13 of the game.
Central returns to action on Thursday night when it plays its third straight road game, travelling to Wagner.
The game started slow offensively with both teams having three-minute stretches without a field goal in the opening minutes. CCSU held an early 5-2 lead after a foul shot by senior Tyler Kohl, but the Colonials came back to regain the lead. Four straight points by Malik Petteway made it 7-5 at the 11:24 mark.
Robert Morris led 10-9 before CCSU ran off eight unanswered points. Kohl opened the run with a jumper and freshman Ian Krishnan converted a four-point play to make it 15-10. A short basket by senior Deion Bute made it 17-10 with 6:59 to go in the period and give Central its largest lead of the half.
The Colonials would get back-to-back three-pointers by Josh Williams, who scored eight straight at one point, and Dante Traecy to begin clawing away at the CCSU lead. Traecy, who would account for six straight RMU points, would tie the game momentarily at 24-24 following a foul shot with 2:36 to go in the period.
The Blue Devils would come back with a foul shot by Bute to regain the lead. Kohl followed with consecutive three-pointers and Central would take a 31-26 lead into halftime.
CCSU shot 12-of-32 (.375) from the field in the opening half and was 3-of-11 (.273) from the three-point arc. Kohl would lead all scorers with 15 points in the opening half.
The Colonials would take a lead early in the second period. Matty McConnell scored six points in the opening 4:52 and his layup at 15:08 made it 40-38. RMU would stretch the lead to 44-40 after a Chris Coalmon layup with 13:29 to play.
Central would take a 52-50 lead following a three-point play by junior Jamir Coleman with 9:17 to play. A jumper by Hugley and a three-pointer by Krishnan extended the lead to 57-52.
Robert Morris would respond with five quick points to tie the game, but Central would roll off eight points to take the lead again. A layup by Coleman off an inbounds started the run, followed by a three-pointer by Krishnan and another by Hugley with 4:36 to play to make it 65-57 to take the lead for good.
CCSU would not allow the Colonials to get closer than five points the rest of the way and would go 10-of-13 at the foul line down the stretch. Hugley would extend the lead to as much as 75-65 in the closing minute before the final margin.
Malik Petteway led four in double-figures for RMU with 16 points. The Colonials shot 25-of-63 (.397) from the field in the game and was just 7-of-31 (.226) from three-point range.
The Blue Devils travel to Wagner on Thursday night.