Courtesy of Central Connecticut Sports Information
Senior Shemik Thompson scored 16 points and added three steals as the Central Connecticut men's basketball team opened the 2010-11 season with a 64-62 win over Hartford in the Connecticut 6 Classic at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday night. Junior Vince Rosario matched his career-high with 17 points in the win, as the Blue Devils won their opener for the first time in five seasons.
The Hawks led 24-10 with under eight minutes to play in the
first half. Central hit only 5-of-15 from the field to start
Central used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 24-17 with 4:55 on the clock. Junior Ken Horton scored his first basket of the season to cut the lead to seven.
A Rosario three and a pair of free-throws from the junior cut the lead to 28-22 with 2:30 on the clock. Following a pair of Hartford free-throws Rosario hit his second three to make it 30-25.
Hartford led 32-27 at the half, and shot 44.8 percent from the field (13-of-29). The Blue Devils hit on just 9-of-22 from the floor, 40.9 percent, and were outrebounded 17-14.
Central turned the ball over 10 times leading to 10 Hartford points.
Central began the second half with the third three of the game from Rosario to make it 32-30, but the Hawks answered with an 11-1 run to build a 43-31 lead. Rosario capped a 6-0 Central run with a break-away layup and sophomore Joe Efese hit under the basket as the Blue Devils cut the lead to 45-39 with 11:48 on the clock. The run reached 10-2 on Rosario's 17th point, matching his career-high.
The Blue Devils climbed back and Thompson made his first three of the season to make it 49-48 with under nine minutes to play.
After the Hawks built the lead back to three, the Blue Devils fought back to tie the game at 57-57 with just over two minutes to play. Another big three from Thomspon, his second of the game, tied the score. It would be the last field goal of the game for the Blue Devils, but it was their work from the line that earned them the win.
Central scored its final seven points from the free-throw line, including five straight to take a 63-59 lead with under 10 seconds to play. A late three by the Hawsk cut it to 63-62. Thompson made a free-throw, and then missed the second with only .4 seconds on the clock.
Rosario's 17 led the offense for Central. Thompson added 16 and junior Robby Ptacek had 10. Horton, playing in his first game since the 2008-09 season, added six points and seven rebounds. Efese finished with five blocks, and the Blue Devils had 10 total in the game.
Morgan Sabia led the Hawks with a game-high 23 points and 13 rebounds. They are now 0-1 on the season.