Still looking to add a third game in the win column this year, Central Connecticut men’s basketball fell short in their efforts at Bryant Saturday as their second-half rally fell just short, losing the game 64-60.
The Blue Devils fell into a hole early against the Bulldogs, going into the break trailing 31-22. CCSU only attempted one shot from beyond the arc in the first half and were not able to get to the line either. On the other end, the Bulldogs attempted 18 threes in the first half, but some stifling defense from the Blue Devils led to only five makes.
After the lethargic start on offense, CCSU kicked things up a notch in the second half of play.
Some familiar faces from last year’s offense led the way through the second. Junior Ian Krishnan got 14 of his team-leading 16 points in the second as he went three-of-four from downtown. Senior Jamir Coleman, who is playing in his first game since January 20, scored all 11 of his points in the second.
Freshmen Greg Outlaw and Jamir Reed also scored in double figures, each notching 10 points. Outlaw added three rebounds, two assists and a steal against the Bulldogs while Reed was tied for a team-high six rebounds, dished out two assists and got two steals.
After leading by as much as 16, Bryant began having a bit of a breakdown in the closing minutes of the game.
Coleman and Krishnan each sunk a pair of clutch threes, cutting the Bulldogs lead to just three with under a minute to play. With a three-point lead, Bryant wisely sent Krishnan to the line with 10 seconds left on the clock. If he sunk both, the Bulldogs would still have a lead, essentially icing the game and eliminating the chance of a three on offense from CCSU.
Krishnan made one and missed one, putting the game at 62-60 in favor of Bryant. CCSU then sent Elisias Hall to the line, who nailed both free throws to ice the game. One final heave from Krishnan as the clock was expiring would not fall.
Offensively, the Blue Devils were unable to draw any contact on the Bryant defenders during the game. The Bulldogs only committed 12 personal fouls, which translated to only two trips to the line for the entire CCSU team.
Inversely, Bryant capitalized from the charity stripe, hitting 13 of their 18 attempts from the line. Though foul shots are few and far between, the biggest outlier, in a four-point loss, these points certainly played a difference in the end.
As this game was the finale of a three-game road trip, the Blue Devils will be back home this week to host three games of their own. After taking on LIU Thursday, CCSU will have a chance at revenge against Bryant Saturday at Detrick Gymnasium. They’ll finish up the home stretch against Fairleigh Dickinson before heading back on the road for three of their final four games.
Now sitting at 1-11 in Northeast Conference play, the road to the NEC Tournament seems to be all but closed for the Blue Devils.