Strong Second Half Sends CCSU Past Sacred Heart, 84-78

Freshman Steve Glowiak

NEW BRITAIN, CT (January  10, 2013) – Sacred Heart's Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) and Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) each had 22 points but a 10-0 run helped the Central Connecticut Blue Devils pull away in the second half for an 84-78 win Thursday night in Detrick Gymnasium.  All five Blue Devil starters were in double figures led by Matt Hunter's 21 points.

The Blue Devils (6-8, 2-1 NEC) erased a 36-28 SHU (4-10, 2-1 NEC) lead at the half thanks to a blistering second half where they scored 56 points and shot 51.5 percent (17-33).  CCSU sophomore Kyle Vinales scored all 15 of his points in the second half while rookie Brandon Peel posted 17 points and 17 rebounds, both career-high marks.

The Pioneers led for much of the first half, opening an early 11-5 lead into the first media time-out off a Gibson three and runner in the lane.  Gibson put SHU up 18-9 at the 13:55 mark with his second three.  CCSU cut the lead to 18-14 thanks to a 7-0 spurt, fueled by a three from Hunter.

SHU went five-of-13 from three in the first half and triples by Nick Greenbacker (Coventry, CT), Glowiak and Justin Swidowski (Cinnaminson, NJ) helped build the Pioneer lead to 34-23, their biggest of the night, with 3:05 left.  Central used a 5-0 spurt to force a SHU time-out at 1:09 but the Pioneers would go to the locker room up 36-28 at the break.

CCSU's Vinales failed to score in the first half, going 0-7 from the field but got it going quickly in the second half.  Gibson's third three gave SHU a 43-34 lead but a Vinales three point play pulled his team within 44-39 at the first media time-out.

SHU, who had players in foul trouble all night, saw Gibson forced to the bench with this fourth at 13:56, leaving the game with 15 points and a 48-41 Pioneer lead.  Vinales and the Blue Devils took advantage and thanks to a 12-4 run; cut the lead down to 48-46 with 12:57 left.  Vinales got his team to within 52-51 at 10:10 thanks to his second three of the night and the Blue Devils would take their first lead since 2-0 thanks to two Malcolm McMillan free throws on the next possession.

Central would go up 59-56 but the Pioneers took one last run at it with Glowiak hitting a runner and following with a three for a 65-63 lead with 4:13 left.  From there CCSU ran away thanks to a 10-0 started by a Hunter three and a pair of Peel lay-ups.  Terrell Allen made the run complete with a fast-break dunk with 1:09 left for a 75-65 lead.

The Blue Devils got it done at the line in the closing minute, hitting seven-of-eight at the charity stripe to leave no room for last minute Pioneer heroics.  McMillian and Adonis Burbage rounded out the Central players in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.  Allen came off the bench for eight points and 11 rebounds.

The Pioneers took a season-high 80 shots on the night but hit just 38.8 percent (31-80).  SHU went to the line just seven times, hitting six, compared to 32 trips for CCSU (23-32).  Junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) finished with 14 points before fouling out.

Glowiak's 22 points, six assists and six rebounds were all career-highs.

The Pioneers are back in action on Saturday as they head to NEC rival Quinnipiac for a 3:00 pm match-up.