HACKENSACK, NJ - The bumpy road through the conference schedule continued for the CCSU menâ€™s basketball team on Monday afternoon.
The Blue Devils were routed 83-60 on the road by Fairleigh Dickinson, making it seven straight losses to open NEC play. All seven losses have come by double digits, with an average margin of defeat sitting at 17.1 points per game.
CCSU (1-19, 0-7 NEC) appeared to be on its way to a tight battle with the Knights (4-13, 2-4 NEC) when it grabbed a 13-9 lead on a layup by freshman Xavier Wilson, but Fairleigh Dickinson responded with an overwhelming 18-4 run over the next eight minutes. That stretch was highlighted by an 11-0 run (with the final eight points of the run coming from Devon Dunn) to put the Knights ahead by double digits with 6:59 left in the first half.
The Blue Devils inched closer towards the end of the half thanks to six straight points from senior Jamir Coleman to pull CCSU within single digits, but Fairleigh Dickinson regained control and took a 40-29 lead into the break.
The deficit for the Blue Devils swelled to 18 early in the second half, but a 3-pointer by freshman Jamir Reed cut it back down to 13, and later in the half, consecutive layups from Wilson and junior Stephane Ayangma made it a 10-point game by the midway point of the second half. But the Knights took control again, responding with five straight and eventually taking a 67-51 lead on a 3-pointer by Xzavier Malone-Key, and the Blue Devils would get no closer the rest of the way.
Wilson matched a career-high in the loss with 12 points, while fellow freshman Myles Baker added 10 and sophomore Ian Krishnan pitched in 11 in what was an overall rough shooting day for the team from all spots on the floor. CCSU finished shooting just 35 percent overall from the field, 6-for-22 from beyond the arc and just 12-for-21 at the free throw line.
On the defensive end, the Blue Devils forced 15 turnovers and picked up 10 steals, but could turn it into just four points, while the flurry of missed shots created all kinds of chances for Fairleigh Dickinson on the other end. Meanwhile, the Knights shot an efficient 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line, helping them build a big lead with relative ease.
CCSU will look to break into the win column in NEC play on Thursday, when it hosts Sacred Heart at 7 p.m. The Pioneers beat the Blue Devils 66-55 less than one week ago and are 10-8 on the season.