The Central Connecticut men's basketball team rallied from a double-digit deficit to tie the game late, but Wagner managed to hold on for a 63-57 win in Northeast Conference action on Thursday at the Spiro Sports Center. The Blue Devils tied the game at 49 with just under six minutes to play, but the Seahawks came back with four straight to keep the lead for good. Senior Tyler Kohl had 18 points and junior Jamir Coleman added 17 points.
The loss drops CCSU to 11-15 overall and 5-8 in NEC play.
The Blue Devils shot 16-of-53 (.302) from the field for the game and were just 5-of-26 (.192) from three-point range. CCSU was 20-of-26 (.769) at the foul line.
CCSU travels to St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday to close out its four-game road swing.
Central opened the game missing its first eight shots as Wagner opened a double-digit lead. Senior Tyler Kohl hit a three-pointer for CCSU's first field goal, but Romone Saunders hit a trifecta to make it 16-6 at the 11:56 mark.
Junior Jamir Coleman would hit a three-pointer and freshman Ian Krishnan converted a putback midway through the opening period, but Central was just 3-of-21 from the field to begin the game. The Seahawks would lead throughout the opening period with back-to-back baskets by senior Deion Bute and Kohl cutting the Wagner lead to 26-17.
The Seahawks would score six straight to take their largest lead of the period at 32-17 with 1:59 to go in the period. Central would close the half with eight straight points. Kohl and Coleman hit four foul shots before Coleman hit back-to-back layups to make it 32-25 at the intermission.
CCSU shot just 7-of-28 (.250) from the field in the opening period and was 2-of-13 (.154) from the three-point arc. Coleman led the Blue Devils with 10 points in the opening half, while Kohl had nine points.
The Blue Devils came out of halftime and got a three-pointer from Coleman to make it an 11-0 run and cut the deficit to 32-28.
The Seahawks came back with seven unanswered points and made it 39-28 on a layup by Saunders. A putback by Coleman ended the Wagner spurt and cut the deficit to single digits.
A three-pointer by Kohl got CCSU within 41-35 with 12:38 to play. The Seahawks answered with a three-pointer to push the lead back to 44-35.
Central would respond by outscoring Wagner 9-3 to cut the deficit to three points. A three-pointer by Krishnan and a jumper by Coleman capped a 9-0 spurt over a span of 4:23 to make it 47-46.
After Wagner ended the CCSU run, junior Joe Hugley would convert a three-point play to tie the game at 49-all with 5:42 to play. The Seahawks came back with four straight to regain the lead and would go ahead 56-51 after a three-pointer by Elijah Davis.
The Blue Devils would get within 60-57 with 0:25 remaining, but could get no closer and the Seahawks added three free throws for the final margin.
Saunders led Wagner with 18 points and nine rebounds. The Seahawks shot 20-of-48 (.417) from the field for the game, but were just 9-of-23 (.391) after halftime. The Seahawks hit 10 three-pointers and held a 36-33 rebounding edge.