Men’s Basketball Falls At UMass Lowell In Heartbreaker

Ryan Jones, Sports Editor

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Following some wide margin losses, Central Connecticut men’s basketball lost in heart-breaking fashion to New England rival UMass Lowell 73-71. The men collected their eighth loss of the young season, this one by the slimmest margin yet.

In the team’s first few games of the year, the offense has been lethargic at times and unable to truly get going. This was not the case against UMass Lowell.

Jamir Coleman, one of Central’s lone seniors and key returnees this season, took over and dominated for the Blue Devils. The forward matched a career-high 27 points in the loss in an incredibly efficient fashion, shooting 75 percent from the field and cashing in on both of his two free throw attempts.

While the Blue Devils’ star veteran stuffed the stat sheet, rookie Greg Outlaw put together yet another strong performance.

Outlaw scored a new high for his freshman campaign, dropping 16 in only 23 minutes. Like Coleman, Outlaw put together an efficient night on the floor, shooting 7-for-12 while sending back two shots and nabbing two steals. The freshman leads the team in scoring through the first eight games, averaging a tick over 10 points per game. The guard is also seventh in the conference in steals, averaging 1.5 per game.

Outlaw was named Rookie of the Week in the Northeast Conference, while Coleman earned a spot on the Prime Performers list for his performance.

Central Connecticut only shot seven free throws on the day while UMass Lowell was given 22 opportunities. While Central was unable to draw fouls (10 from UMass Lowell) they were quick to foul the River Hawks (21 from CCSU).

Stephane Ayangma and Xavier Wilson cleaned the boards for CCSU, with each of them collecting seven rebounds. Despite the strong night at the glass from these two, the Blue Devils were out rebounded 29-40. Among NEC teams, Central ranks last in rebounding margin (-10.1).

The final minute of Central’s game against the River Hawks had a flare for the dramatics, but did favor the Blue Devils. Ayangma made a layup that put CCSU up one with 42 seconds on the clock. With four seconds remaining, UMass Lowell scored a layup to put them up 73-71, a lead they would not relinquish.

This two point loss is the closest game Central Connecticut has dropped all season. They currently rank last in the NEC in scoring margin, losing by an average of 26.2 points.

The Blue Devils will be back in action at home this Saturday, as they tip-off against Maine at 1 p.m. The Black Bears are 2-5 on the year and have lost all five of their road matches this season. Maine is headlined by senior Andrew Fleming, who is averaging 17.7 points per game and recently dropped 37 on fellow NEC school Merrimack.