Cent. Connecticut beats Fairleigh Dickinson 85-63

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP)—Central Connecticut State took advantage of a strong first-half finish Saturday, staying ahead through the rest of the game to earn an 85-63 win over Fairleigh Dickinson.

Five Blue Devils were in double figures, with Tristan Blackwood leading the pack with 18 points. Marcus Palmer had 14 points and eight rebounds for Central Connecticut (9-10, 5-3 NEC), while Ken Horton added 15 for the Blue Devils. Joe Seymore and Shemik Thompson had 13 each.

The Blue Devils took over late in the first half with a 23-8 run to finish the period.

After Horton gave Central the 25-24 lead with a score and a free throw, Palmer hit a putback to put Central up four with 5:40 left in the half.

He then scored four straight points—including a bucket on a loose ball kept in the air by the work of Tamir Johnson—as Central gained a 38-27 lead with 3:10 left in the half.

Three-pointers by Blackwood and Seymore helped Central get up by 14 at the break.

The Knights (5-11, 1-5 NEC) had stayed close early behind the play of Sean Baptiste, who had 16 points in the first 20 minutes. He scored 14 of his team’s first 22 points and Fairleigh Dickinson made seven of its first 12 shots from the floor, but lost ground soon after that.

The Blue Devils opened up a 17-point lead early in the second half, but Manny Ubilla’s 3-pointer was the Knights’ second straight, cutting their hole to 54-43 at the 16:29 mark.

A 9-0 run by the Knights pulled it within eight, and things got worse for Central when Blackwood picked up his fourth foul with 15:44 to go.

The Blue Devils’ defense held the Knights to four points over a seven-minute stretch as Central rebuilt its lead to as much as 19.

When Blackwood returned with just over eight minutes left, Central had extended the lead and spent the rest of the game building on it, leading by as much as 25.

Ubilla had 21 for the Knights, while Baptiste finished with 19.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Fair. Dickinson
M. Ubilla M. Ubilla
9-19,  21 Pts
5 Rebs, 2 Assists
 Central Conn. St.
T. Blackwood T. Blackwood
6-15,  18 Pts
6 Rebs, 5 Assists

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Saturday, Jan 19