NEW BRITAIN, Conn – The Central Connecticut Blue Devils used a 16-0 second half run to take momentum from Sacred Heart and ultimately defeat the Pioneers 74-69 Saturday afternoon at Detrick Gymnasium. The Pioneers were outscored 58-0 by CCSU's bench. Sacred Heart falls to 1-10 in the NEC this season.
In his hometown of New Britain, it was Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) who led the way for the Pioneers, pouring in a game-high 27 points on 9-15 shooting. The sharpshooter knocked down seven three-pointers.
Freshman De'Von Barnett (Waldorf, MD) chipped in 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Senior Mostafa Abdel Latif (Alexandria, Egypt) grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds to go along with six points.
Off the bench, De'Angelo Speech scored a team-high 23 points, while Kyle Vinales helped out with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
Sacred Heart jumped all over Central in the opening minutes, thanks to hot shooting from Glowiak. The redshirt junior knocked down three early long balls as the Pioneers took a 15-4 lead with 14 minutes left in the first.
Vinales responded for Central, knocking down a long ball of his own to cut into the Sacred Heart lead. Glowiak drilled his fourth three-pointer of the half to put SHU up 20-10 with 12:14 remaining. Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) hit another three-ball to put the Pioneers up 13 halfway through the first.
CCSU battled back towards the end of the first as Vinales nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to five with 7:50 left. Vinales then drove in for a lay-up to cut the SHU lead to two points with 5:50 left.
Glowiak drilled his fifth three-pointer of the half to put SHU up five again with under five to go in the half.
Sacred Heart squeaked out a one-point lead into halftime following a lay-up from Abdel Latif with 6 seconds left.
Sacred Heart once again began the second half strong, elongating its slim halftime lead to 11 points after Evan Kelley (Norwalk, CT) hit a three-ball to take a 52-41 lead. Kelley scored seven points in the first nine minutes of the second.
CCSU responded after Kelley's three-pointer, with a 16-0 run to turn an 11-point deficit into a five-point lead. De'Angelo knocked down two threes sandwiched around a couple free throws to lead the Blue Devils.
Glowiak knocked down a jumper to halt the CCSU barrage and cut the lead to three with 6:08 left.
The Pioneers just could not get a stop when they needed to, as Speech nailed back-to-back threes, around a couple SHU baskets, to put CCSU back up seven with 3:55 left.
Sacred Heart once again cut the CCSU lead to three points after Glowiak's final three of the game with 40 seconds left. From there, CCSU closed the Pioneers out with clutch free throw shooting, knocking down seven of eight from the line in the final 38 seconds.
Sacred Heart has now dropped nine games in a row for the first time since the 2004-05 season.
The Pioneers look to halt the losing streak when they travel to take on the Wagner Seahawks on Thursday night.