NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Freshman Jacoby Armstrong (Sachse, Texas) collected his first career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds), but the University of New Hampshire men's basketball team fell to the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils, 65-56 in non-conference action Wednesday night at Detrick Gym.
The Wildcats jumped out of the gate on a 5-0 run. Freshman Williams Gabriel (Lagos, Nigeria) notched two free-throws, before senior Patrick Konan (Gainesville, Fla.) scored a free-throw and buried a jumper to give UNH a 5-0 advantage. The Blue Devils quickly responded with a 13-2 run to take their first lead of the game. Davonte Drakeford got CCSU on the board with a free-throw and Brandon Peel hit the Blue Devil's first shot when he scored a layup. Five straight points from Drakeford gave CCSU its first lead of the game, 8-7. Three more free-throws and a jumper from Peel capped the run, giving the Blue Devils a 12-7 advantage.
UNH closed out the first half on a 13-6 run to cut the score to 25-24. Trailing 19-11 with 6:40 remaining, senior Scott Morris (Walkersville, Md.) buried a three-pointer to cut the lead to five. Junior Frank Okeke (DeSoto, Texas) made it a two-point game when he buried a jumper from the right side. After the Blue Devils got a jumper from Terrell Allen, Morris buried his second three of the game to make it a one-point game. The teams would trade baskets for the final two minutes of the period and the half would end with CCSU leading 25-24.
Morris and Okeke led the way for UNH in the first half, posting eight points apiece. Allen finished the half with seven points while Drakeford notched six points to pace the Blue Devils in the stanza.
UNH and CCSU went back and forth to open the second stanza. With CCSU holding a 29-28 lead two minutes into the frame, Hunter made a layup that started a 14-2 run. Khalen Cumberlander followed Hunter's layup with one of his own before Hunter scored four straight points on two free-throws and a breakaway layup. Peel added three points and Kyle Vinales notched three of his own, before Hunter capped the run with a breakaway dunk.
With CCSU leading 47-32, the Wildcats launched an 11-2 run to claw its way back into the game. Morris started the run with a three pointer from the left corner and Armstrong added a free-throw to cut the Blue Devil advantage to 11. Following a Hunter layup, Jaleen Smith (Freeport, Texas) scored two free-throws, Gabriel hit a layup, and Armstrong notched a layup and a free-throw to cut the lead to six with 5:54 remaining in the game.
UNH would make it a one-point game with 2:11 left, but the Blue Devils would not be denied, scoring eight free throws in the final two minutes to ice the game and take the victory.
Scott Morris led three Wildcats in double-figures with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting. Smith finished with ten points and five rebounds and Armstrong collected 10 points and 10 boards.
Matt Hunter scored a game-high 13 points to pace the Blue Devils. Faronte Drakeford (12 points), Brandon Peel (11 points), and Khalen Chamberlander (10 points) also reached double-figures for CCSU.
With the win CCSU improves to 2-5 on the year, while UNH falls to 2-5 with the loss.
Next up for the Wldcats is a trip to Yale Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4:30 p.m. For the latest news and information on UNH men's basketball visit www.unhwildcats.com