Men’s Basketball Falls In Second Round of The NEC Tournament


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The Central Connecticut State University men’s basketball team huddles just before tip-off of the Northeast Conference Tournament quarterfinals game at Bryant University.

Andrew DeCapua, Sports Editor

The Central Connecticut State University men’s basketball team fell to top-seeded Bryant University, 73-59, in the second round of the Northeast Conference Tournament on Wednesday, March 2.

After defeating the number nine seed, Fairleigh Dickinson University, in the opening round of the NEC Tournament, the Blue Devils traveled to Smithfield, Rhode Island, to face off against Bryant in the quarterfinals.

The Bulldogs were responsible for the game’s first eight points and held the Blue Devils scoreless for the first five minutes and twenty-seven seconds. That continued for most of the first half as Central only made 4 out of 23 baskets to start the game.

Late in the first half, the Blue Devils began to play better and cut the Bryant lead to just five points, mainly due to a trio of made three-pointers from junior Tre Mitchell.

A 5-0 run early in the second half helped the Bulldogs push their lead back to nine points. From there, they continued to build on that lead until the Blue Devils had no chance of making a comeback.

Junior Nigel Scantlebury led the Blue Devils in scoring with 17-points while freshman Andre Snoddy grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. CCSU shot only 33% from the field, while Bryant knocked down 49% of their shots.

CCSU’s head coach Patrick Sellers was proud of how his team battled in the first half and handled the Bryant defense.

“We fought back really strong and got it down to five, and I thought we did a good job handling their zone,” Sellers said to reporters after the game.

With the season over, momentum now shifts to next season. With a young group of players, the Blue Devils will look to build off this past season and get back to the NEC Tournament next year. A task that will be much more difficult next time around because the expansion of the tournament, which allowed all eligible teams to participate, was just a one-time thing, and it will go back to its eight-team format next season.

When asked about what is next for the Blue Devils’ men’s basketball team, Coach Sellers said the team would take some time off and continue working hard to improve the young players on the roster and hopefully bring some excitement to the CCSU men’s basketball program for the future.

“We’ve got a young group, and we talked about taking a few weeks off, and then we’ll get back in the gym and work hard. We want to have this type of atmosphere at Central Connecticut, and that’s our goal,” Sellers said.