by Humera Gul
Central Connecticut State University’s men’s basketball team played their hearts out, but fell to Robert Morris 74-64. The team was able to cut a 19 point deficit down to just five point, however, it was too little too late.
The team struggled with shooting and finishing plays. Central shot 22 of 60 from the field, 7 of 18 for three pointers, and 13 of 25 at the foul line. The Blue Devils had the crowd roaring during the comeback moments.
“It comes down to guys that haven’t been in this situation before, meaning, the game of this magnitude, and I think we came out nervous,” said Coach Donyell Marshall.
It did take the blue devils some time to settle into the game. Khalen Cumberlander did all he could to win the game for his senior year. Cumberlander made 9 of 17 field goals, including three three pointers. He also scored three out of his six foul shots. He finished with 24 points for the game. He also had five rebounds and one assist. He not only led the team in points scored, but also scored more than any other player in the game.
Coach Marshall had nothing but good things to say about Khalen.
“Khalen has been playing well, he’s been playing a lot harder. I think he was feeling his senior year is on the line and he only had a couple of games left. In the huddles, he was very talkative and became a leader for this team. It’s sad because as a new coach, I only got one year with a guy like that.”
Another Blue Devil that catches the eye is Austin Nehls. Nehls was 3 for 10 in his field goals, included two three pointers. He finished 6 of 9 foul shots. He also was part of an alley-oop, where he passed it to Cumberlander and Cumberlander dunked it. Nehls also had two rebounds and three assists.
Blue Devil’s rookie Tyson Batiste had three rebounds, five assists and two steals.
“Unfortunately, by the time we got clicking and we got going, it was too little too late. We expanded so much energy doing it, but you got to keep working and building on it. We were officially eliminated, but we got two games left and we will try to win those games,” Coach Marshall said.
Isaiah Still of Robert Morris made significant contributions to the game. Still was 6 of 15 in his field goals including a three pointer. He scored a high 9 of 11 on his foul ball, and finished with 22 points for the game. Still also had eight rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Still’s teammate Aaron Tate finished 3 out of 4 from the field and 4 out of 4 on foul shots. He also recorded eight rebounds.
The loss drops CCSU to 5-22 overall and 3-13 in the NEC. This loss eliminates the Blue Devils from playoff contention. CCSU will hosts St. Francis Brooklyn in its final home game of the season and its seniors night. Watch out for Khalen Cumberlander.