SMITHFIELD, RI - Donyell Marshallâ€™s first season as the head coach of the CCSU menâ€™s basketball team came to an unceremonious close Saturday afternoon against Bryant.
As it had been all season, the second half proved to be the Blue Devils undoing as they fell to Bulldogs 91-77 in the season finale.
Austin Nehls and Chris Williams scored a team-high 17 points for CCSU, while teammate Khalen Cumberlander scored 10 to be the only three Blue Devils to finish in double figures. Williamsâ€™ points came from off the bench.
Although CCSU (6-23, 4-14) was down just three points at halftime, 38-35, Bryant (12-19, 2-9) used a 10-0 run to eventually put the game out of reach.
A 3-pointer by Cumberlander kept the Blue Devils within three points, 51-48, at the 14:39 mark of the second half, but Bryant scored the next eight points to begin pulling away thanks to back-to-back threes from Nisre Zouzoua. From that point on, CCSU did not get any closer than nine points.
Over a span of 6:07, the Bulldogs outscored the Blue Devils 21-4 which included runs of 10 straight and nine straight unanswered points. A Dan Garvin dunk with 4:27 left to play gave Bryant a 85-57 lead, its largest of the game
CCSU was able to trim the deficit with 12 straight points of its own. Central trimmed the deficit with 12 straight points. Williams would hit two straight 3-pointers and another from freshman Harrison Kay would cap the spurt. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Kay and freshman Tyson Batiste to close the game would make it 91-77.
The teams combined for 24 three-pointers, including 16 in the second half.
The first half also failed to go in the Blue Devilsâ€™ favor as Bryant was able to take an early lead, pushing CCSUâ€™s deficit to as much as 34-22 after a 9-3 run over a 1:06 span.
But the Blue Devils held Bryant to just one field goal over the final 5:10 of the first half. Williams hit a jumper at the 2:53 mark to spark a 7-0 CCSU run and a jumper from Tidell Pierre was followed by a Nehls 3-pointer to make bring the score to 36-31.
Nehls hit another shot from beyond the arc with just over a second left in the half and was fouled. He hit the foul shot to convert the four-point play and get CCSU within 38-35 at the intermission.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach