New Britain Herald Preview Of UMass At CCSU - UMass Athletics

New Britain Herald Preview Of UMass At CCSU

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The New Britain Herald has a preview of the UMass-CCSU game tonight at 7 p.m.

The Blue Devils will need to be good tonight to beat the Minutemen (8-4), who have won the last two meetings between the teams by an average of nearly 19 points. Central had won the two prior meetings early in the decade, however, by a point each. Central has fallen by two points or less three times this year, but is on a three-game winning streak. This is the fourth of six straight at home for Central, which won the first three.

"We had a couple of close losses that we probably should have won, but you take that as a learning experience," junior forward Ken Horton said. "You try and correct those mistakes."

CCSU men host UMass tonight

Sunday, January 2, 2011 11:13 PM EST

NEW BRITAIN -- The last non-conference game of the year should be a good one.

Central Connecticut hosts UMass tonight (7 p.m., ESPN Radio 1410) at Detrick Gym, giving fans who waited patiently during the early part of the year while the Blue Devils played big names on the road a rare treat at home.

Of course, the Blue Devils (7-5) have been treating their fans to good basketball regardless of who has come to play them of late.

During Central's last three wins, all at home, the Blue Devils are using ball crisp ball movement to run an efficient offensive attack.
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"We want to focus on the extra pass," senior guard Shemik Thompson said. "If you have a good look and a 50 percent chance of making it and you can give it up to someone with a 75 percent chance of making it, the chances of you making it increase when you make the extra pass. So that's something we focus on, making the extra pass. When we do that, we're pretty good."

Combine that with the intense defensive pressure the Blue Devils have applied of late and you have a recipe for success.

"We challenged I believe 75 percent of the shots they took," CCSU head coach Howie Dickenman said of his team's win over Brown Wednesday night. "Any time you can challenge a percentage like that I think you're going to be in good shape."

The Blue Devils will need to be good tonight to beat the Minutemen (8-4), who have won the last two meetings between the teams by an average of nearly 19 points. Central had won the two prior meetings early in the decade, however, by a point each.

Central has fallen by two points or less three times this year, but is on a three-game winning streak. This is the fourth of six straight at home for Central, which won the first three.  

"We had a couple of close losses that we probably should have won, but you take that as a learning experience," junior forward Ken Horton said. "You try and correct those mistakes."

While coming home certainly has helped, the Blue Devils believe that their recent winning streak is more a matter of improvement over time.

"That's the idea, as the season goes on, to come together," junior guard Ptacek said. "We're going to out there and keep going out there and getting better and playing better as a team."

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