Category Archives: Basketball

CCSU Falls To Mt. Saint Mary

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.

Blue Devils Extend Win Streak To Three Games

By Corey Pollnow

In the early-bird game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Detrick Gym, the Women’s basketball team took on Wagner and stomped out the Seahawks 82-53.

With their third win in a row, CCSU improved to 9-7 overall and 3-2 in the Northeastern Conference and are tied with three other teams for fourth in the NEC.

CCSU was led by Kirsten Daamen who tied her season-high with 21 points and came up huge on the glass with 11 rebounds; six of them offensive.

“The guards did a really good job of passing the ball inside which always helps. The game plan was to go inside and look for if we have a shot or kick out for the guards to shoot it,” said Daamen.

Jaclyn Babe was very efficient in her 21 minutes on the floor. Babe tallied 19 points on nine for 13 shooting. She also picked up four rebounds and six assists; four of them to Daamen.

“We felt we could dominate inside against this team. They don’t have the bodies to play against our big kids. It’s a good day when our post players are scoring a lot of points for us. Were a good team when our post players are scoring. Jackie Babe was a big part of that. She had six assists on the night,” said Coach Piper.

The Blue Devils hammered the Seahawks on the glass by an astronomical margin of 61 to 23; 22 of the Blue Devils 61 rebounds came on the offensive end.

Jaclyn and Jessica Babe controlled the tempo by pushing the ball throughout the entirety of the game. Wagner struggled defensively in transition and the Blue Devils took full advantage of it by hitting a barrage of jumpers in transition.

Johnna Fisher gave CCSU some great minutes off the bench. Her presence and energy was instantaneous and was extremely active on both ends of the floor. In 11 minutes Fisher contributed 6 points and 6 rebounds and played stellar defense.

“When you have a game where everybody gets to play, and you have five freshmen on the floor at the end of the game, you know that’s a good day. We don’t have too many of those nights where we can play everybody. Most of our games in our conference are really close. It’s really nice to be able to come out today and be able to execute and do the things that we needed to do to give everybody an opportunity to play basketball today,” said Coach Piper.

In the preseason NEC poll CCSU was predicted to finish eighth in the conference. They continue to prove their pundits wrong as they’ve won five games in a row at Detrick Gym, but in order to come out on top of the NEC they’re going to have to against their opponents on the road.

The girls’ next game is at home on Saturday, January 26th at 1 p.m. vs St. Francis (NY).

Central Falls In CT Classic

By Matthew Aveni

The fourth annual Connecticut 6 classic was played Saturday at the University of Hartford.  The day was filled with buzzer beaters and overtime games; the last game of the day combined both when Central tipped off versus Fairfield University.

The Blue Devils have a difficult task this year replacing the schools number one and ten scorers in school history, Kenny Horton and Robbie Patcek respectively. Two integral parts of a team cannot be replaced in one season but Central Connecticut Head Coach, Howie Dickenman, did a great job bringing in new players and developing the current players on his roster.

Adonis Burbage has stepped up his play this season putting on 15 pounds and developing a knockdown jump shot.  Matt Hunter transferred into Central this year and can score at will.  He can create his own shot and be a catch and shoot type of player.  Kyle Vinales has an increased role this year being the primary scorer and target of most defenses.

Fairfield did exactly that. They attempted to slow down Vinales and make Hunter, Burbage and McMillan beat them.  Vinales got off to a quick start scoring five of Central’s first seven points.  The Stags responded by going on a 9-0 scoring run to make it 13-7.  Halfway through the first half, Central was scoring in bunches with ball movement and staggering threes from Burbage.

“We told Adonis to shoot if he has an open shot.  If he gets the ball when he is open and does not shoot we told him that we would take him out of the game.  Adonis is one of the best corner three point shooters in the conference and he will be a big part of our offense this year,” said Dickenman.

The half was finished slowly by each team but the Stags held a three point halftime lead.  The beginning of the second half was low scoring and displayed sloppy play by both teams.  Vinales hit a midrange jump shot with nine minutes to go to cut the Fairfield lead to just three points.

The three-point-shots kept coming in, Hunter hit a three with six minutes left to give the Blue Devils a two-point-lead. Central maintained its lead until the final minute of play where the Stags scored eight points to tie the game with time running down.

At the end of regulation Kyle Vinales had the ball in his hands but forced up a quick shot leaving time on the clock for Fairfield to score.

“I wish I could take that play back.  I shouldn’t have gone to the hoop with that much time on the clock.  It was a bad play on my part and it’s not what Coach wanted me to do,” said Vinales.

Overtime seemed like much of the first half.  Central scored five quick points to grab an early lead but the Stags came back hitting three’s of their own.  With only 40 seconds left on the clock the Blue Devils took the ball with the game tied at 63. Vinales had the ball and Joe Efese set a solid screen to try and set up a shot for Vinales, but he slipped and forced up a shot that was blocked by the Stags.  With the poor shot being forced up Fairfield pushed the ball up the court and was fouled with 2.3 seconds left in the game.  With the first free throw being made there was not much left the Blue Devils could do as they fell 64-63.

“I slipped and had to force up a shot that I never wanted to happen.  Coach drew up a play and I couldn’t get the job done,” said Vinales.

Coach Dickenman is very optimistic of the direction that his team is headed and is confident that his players can get the job done going into NEC play for the rest of the regular season.

 

Women’s Basketball Look To Make Run At Northeast Conference Title

By Derek Turner

The pieces are in place for the Central Connecticut Women’s Basketball team to make a run at a Northeast Conference title; they just need to stay healthy.

Head Coach Beryl Piper says she is excited for the season start and says the depth of this year will play a key role in how far this team can go.

“We have good depth which we didn’t have much of last year,” said Piper. “I think that’s going to make us better. We’re going to be stronger in the guard spots and our post players have more experience this year.”

The team is full of depth and experience. With the entire starting lineup returning and seven upper classmen on the roster the Blue Devils have no lack of leadership.

Point guards Jess Babe (2nd Team All-Conference selection last season) and Kaley Watras are leaders on the court by definition, but as coach Piper put it, they have to be leaders. Jaclyn Babe, Jess’s sister, also describes Lauren Arbogast as a vocal leader on the court.

Experience runs almost all the way through this team. Due to many injuries last season a lot of the freshman received plenty of minutes which add experience to the bench. This year’s freshmen look to make an immediate impact as well.

Raven Makins, Kayla Miller and Nicole Ferguson are three freshmen Piper pointed out as having the ability to make an immediate impact.

“Until we start playing in games with freshmen, you never know. They’re working hard in practice and they’re doing good things,” said Piper.

Last season the Blue Devils saw a lot of scoring opportunities coming in transition when they were running the floor, so the coaching staff has made a point this preseason to emphasize their speed and work to their strengths. In practice, Piper will set 17 seconds on the shot clock and make the players think to score. The goal is to take more shots than their opponents, something Piper said they didn’t always do last season.

“If we’re going to shoot the ball more, obviously we have to get all over the glass and dominate on the boards,” said Piper. “Going against the guys and getting offensive rebounds against the guys is good for us.”

CCSU’s all-time blocked shots leader, Kirsten Daamen returns for her senior season after spending the summer playing in Europe with the Dutch National Team. Her coach knows that her expectations are very high for the coming season, but she has the experience and the playing time to back it up and continue to be a force in the Blue Devil front court.

Daamen is not the only tall body Central has in the post Johanna Fisher, Amanda Harrington and Jameilia Dillon can sub in without losing much. Arbogast can also play the post if they want to go small and become a quicker, more defensive team, but she’s not even that small at 6’2”.

The Blue Devils have a tough out of conference schedule to begin the season. After URI they take on UMass and Hartford in New Britain and then travel to Texas. They finish the non-conference slate with the University of Miami Holiday Tournament with a game versus Miami and either Wisconsin or Delaware State. Northeast Conference play begins January 5 at Robert Morris and the first home conference game will be played January 12 against Bryant.

“I’m looking forward to getting into games and not just practice, have something to practice for,” said Jaclyn Babe, last season’s leading scorer with 15.9 points per game.

The team is almost ready for the season to start and make a run at the NEC title and strive for the NCAA tournament, a goal Jaclyn Babe said she would love to achieve, especially since this may be her and her fellow seniors last time ever playing competitive basketball.

“I feel like we have a lot of little intangibles to be successful this year and hopefully everything is on our side,” said Piper.