Central Connecticut was stopped by Robert Morris 71-57 in Northeast Conference men's basketball action on Sunday at Detrick Gymnasium. The Blue Devils offense was forced into 16 turnovers and held to 33.3 percent shooting, while the Colonials took advantage of the three-point shot, hitting seven three-pointers in the first half to build a double-digit lead. Junior Deion Bute led Central with 14 points and eight rebounds to go with two blocked shots.
The loss ended CCSU's three-game win streak and dropped it to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in NEC play. RMU improved to 8-7 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
The Blue Devils are back in action on Thursday, Jan. 4, when they travel to Fairleigh Dickinson.
The Colonials were able to take the lead for good in the first half by virtue of their three-point shooting. Robert Morris used a 10-2 run midway through the first half to turn a one-point game into a 25-16 lead. RMU scored four straight points before senior Mustafa Jones got a steal and dunk at the other end to make it 19-16. Dachon Burke and Charles Bain followed with back-to-back three-pointers to push the Colonials lead to nine points.
Robert Morris, which went 7-of-11 from the arc in the first half, would stretch the lead to 36-24 after a Jon Williams trey. Jones would hit two foul shots for CCSU just before halftime to cut the deficit to 36-26 at halftime.
Central was limited to 10-of-29 (.345) shooting, including 3-of-9 (.333) from the arc in the first half. Robert Morris shot 13-of-29 (.448) overall and 7-of-11 (.636) on three-pointers in the opening period.
Following a Jones dunk, Robert Morris would push the lead to to 51-30 after scoring 11 straight points just over five minutes into the second half. Charles Bain would have six points in the spurt and a Ronnie Gombe three-point play with 13:34 to play closed out the run.
The lead would be as much as 63-38 with 8:04 remaining, before Central would score six straight points, including a pair of foul shots and a layup from Bute. Bute's layup would make it 63-44 with 6:12 to play. The Blue Devils scored the final five points of the night on two free throws from freshman Talek Williams and a three-pointer by freshman Kashaun Hicks for the final margin.
Bute went 4-of-7 from the field on the night and was joined in double-figures by Jones who had 12 points to go with three blocked shots. The Blue Devils were held to 16-of-48 (.333) shooting overall and 4-of-14 (.286) from three-point range. Central did outrebound RMU, 35-30, but the Blue Devils committed 16 turnovers.
Bain led the Colonials with 18 points off the bench on 7-of-10 shooting. Robert Morris shot 25-of-57 (.439) overall and 8-of-20 (.400) from the arc.
Central travels to Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday, Jan. 4, for a 7:00 game.