New Britain, Conn. – Sophomore guard Kyle Vinales scored a game high 28 points, hitting 9-of-13 field goals, including 4-of-5 treys, to lead Central Connecticut (1-2) to an 86-71 non-league win over Brown at Detrick Gymnasium, giving the Bears (1-1) their first setback of the young season.
The Brown program breathed a collective sigh of relief when junior forward Tucker Halpern entered the game at the 10-minute mark of the first half, setting foot on the court for the first time sine March 2011. He missed all of last season and Brown's opening game following a long illness.
Halpern hit a trey on his first shot of the game and finished with 15 points, on 5-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point arc.
Senior guard Matt Sullivan led the Bears with 18 points on 6 of 12 shooting from the field. Sophomore forward Rafael Maia provided an inside presence by connecting on 6 of 8 field goals in scoring 14 points, while junior guard Sean McGonagill also scored in double figures with 11 points. Bears' freshman forward Cedric Kuakumensah had nine points, five rebounds and five assists.
In addition to Vinale's 28 points, Matt Hunter scored 17 points, while Terrell Allen netted 14 points for the Blue Devils.
After falling behind by 19 points early in the second half, 49-30, the Bears cut the Blue Devils lead to just four point, 67-63, on Halpern's fifth trey of the game with 7:49 remaining to play.
Central Connecticut quickly extended its lead to 11 points, 77-66, and kept the Bears in check, with Vinales scoring all 11 points in the 11-3 spurt.
Sizzling three-point shooting by the Blue Devils was the difference in the game, with Central hitting 11 of 19 treys (58-percent). CCSU also shot 62-percent from the field, connecting on 31-of-50 field goals.
In the opening half, the Blue Devils held a 27-18 lead on a trey by Allen with 8:17 remaining, capping a 9-0 Central Connecticut run.
Brown pulled to within four points, 32-28, on a layup by Kuakumensah with 5:14 left in the half, but the Blue Devils ended the half on a 13-2 spurt to grab a 45-30 lead at intermission. CCSU shot a torrid 67-percent from behind the three point arc in the half, connecting on 6-of-9 treys.
The Bears will get back on the bus on Friday and travel to Orono, Maine for a Saturday, November 17 match-up with the University of Maine. Game time is 7:00 p.m. at Alfond Arena.