By Jose Campos
Despite an impressive offensive performance by Malcolm McMillan, the Blue Devils lost at home 80-75 to Mount St Mary (7-10, 2-4), bringing them to a 7-10 record for the season.
McMillian led his team with a career-high 26 points, going eight for 12 for shooting. He also dished out seven assists and grabbed six rebounds in a “wasted effort,” according to Coach Dickenman. The performance from the point guard is a milestone for him, because before tonight he had made only five field goals in a game while tonight he hit five shots from beyond the arc.
Kyle Vinales also had a good game finishing with 20 points, while Matt Hunter only had eight points and five rebounds because of foul trouble that resulted in him playing only 17 minutes.
In the first half, Central out shot their competitors by an impressive 60 percent from the field. Vinales scored 18 of his 20 in the first half helping the Blue Devils go on a 16-0 run. The Mount came back by playing defense. After back and forth runs, Sam Prescott hit a big three at the end of the first half that gave Mount St Mary a 39-38 lead.
“It was a game of runs, and they came into our house and played better defense,” said Dickenman.
The second half also saw great shooting performances by the Blue Devils, but the lack of defense seemed to be the answer for their shortcomings. Xavier Owens and Julian Norfleet who both scored 18 points each led the Mount in a big win on the road after losing three games on their road trip.
With less than seven minutes left in the second half Matt Hunter fouled out the game leaving CCSU trailing 60-63. A key scorer in the Blue Devils’ offense, the game was left up to Vinales and McMillian to get the home win. In the second half, Vinales was shut down by the Mount’s defense only scoring two points. The defense forced 17 turnovers.
A big three pointer by McMillan put the Blue Devils right back in contention trailing 65-68. After a big put back by the Mount’s Rashad Whack and a timeout, McMillan hit another three pointer that had them behind by two. Hungry for a win McMillan hit his third consecutive three in the last three minutes of regulation. The big shot by the point guard cut the lead by one. The Blue Devils would soon give up a huge turnover in which Julian Norfleet of the Mount made them pay with a three pointer of his own to push the lead to 77-71 and put the nail in the coffin for the Blue Devils.