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Peel, Central Connecticut defeat Sacred Heart

Updated 12:18 am, Friday, January 11, 2013
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Game at a glance GAME MVP: Freshman Brandon Peel had career-highs with 17 points and 17 rebounds to lead Central to a 84-78 victory. KEYS TO THE LOSS: Sacred Heart took a season-high 80 shots, but made just 31 and went 10-for-31 from 3-point range. The Pioneers, who led 36-28, also were plagued by second-half foul trouble. UP NEXT: Saturday at Quinnipiac, 3 p.m. -- WILLIAM S. PAXTON
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NEW BRITAIN -- Steve Glowiak scored a career-high 22 points in his homecoming, but a freshman in the opponent's uniform upstaged the Sacred Heart sophomore's performance.

Brandon Peel posted career bests with 17 points and 17 rebounds to rally Central Connecticut to an 84-78 Northeast Conference victory in front of 2,110 fans Thursday night at the Detrick Gym.

The Pioneers (4-10, 2-1 NEC), who led 36-28 at halftime, took a season-high 80 shots, but converted at a 38.8 percent clip, which was not enough to finish the job against CCSU (6-8, 2-1).

Shane Gibson added 22 points and Louis Montes had 14 in the 50th meeting between the schools. Phil Gaetano collected nine assists and Glowiak, who graduated from New Britain, added six assists.

"I've played here before, last year and in high school," said Glowiak, who was 9-of-19 from the field and 4-for-13 on 3-pointers. "My 3s weren't falling today. I wasn't nervous, but just not taking my time with my shot."

All the Pioneers struggled from the perimeter, which resulted in a 10-for-31 outing from the 3-point line, including 5-of-18 in the second half.

"We took enough shots," SHU coach Dave Bike said. "We didn't make enough."

CCSU also started out cold there -- 1-for-11 in the first half -- but opted to change things up and attack the basket in the second half.

It worked.

The end result: Twenty-four of the Blue Devils' 44 points in the paint came in the second half, with Peel producing 12 of them to go with 10 rebounds. CCSU also went to the line 21 times and converted 18 free throws after making just 5-of-11 attempts in the first half.

"We needed to stop shooting 3 because we were just 1-for-11 in the first half," CCSU coach Howie Dickenman said. "We needed to start driving the basketball. When we did that, our shooting percentage was higher and we got a chance to get to the foul line."

Hitting at a 51.5 percent rate from the floor (17-for-33), Central not only erased a 10-point early second-half SHU lead (44-34), but wrestled away the game's momentum.

The Blue Devils used a 12-4 run to close within two, 48-46, with 13:04 left and finally tied it at 52-52 with 9:04 to play.

SHU held its last lead at 65-63 with 4:13 left on a Glowiak 3-pointer, but Central responded with a 10-0 run and led 73-65 with 1:45 remaining.

"We were just playing into their hands, taking jump shot after jump shot," Glowiak said. "They made theirs and we didn't. ... We gave up 56 points in the second half and that shouldn't happen with our defense."

After holding the NEC's leading scorer, Kyle Vinales, without a point in the first half, the CCSU guard poured in 15 points in the second. Matt Hunter scored a team-high 21 points and five Blue Devils finished in double figures.

"The first play (of the second half), Coach drew up a play for me and whenever you can make a basket, you get more confidence," said Vinales, who was 0-for-7 in the first half, but finished 5-of-15 overall. "I think that's what happened for me."

wpaxton@ctpost.com: @wspaxton

SACRED HEART (4-10)

Gaetano 0-4 0-0 0, Montes 5-16 4-5 14, Gibson 8-21 2-2 22, Greenbacker 3-8 0-0 7, Glowiak 9-19 0-0 22, Swidowski 4-7 0-0 9, Cramer 0-0 0-0 0, Abdel Latif 1-3 0-0 2, Tate 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 31-80 6-7 78.

CCSU (6-8)

Burbage 3-7 4-5 11, Peel 6-10 5-10 17, Vinales 5-15 3-3 15, McMillan 4-10 4-5 12, Hunter 6-14 7-8 21, Efese 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 4-9 0-1 8. Totals 28-65 23-32 84.

Halftime--Sacred Heart 36-28. 3-Point Goals--Sacred Heart 10-31 (Gibson 4-9, Glowiak 4-13, Greenbacker 1-2, Swidowski 1-2, Montes 0-1, Gaetano 0-4), CCSU 5-18 (Hunter 2-4, Vinales 2-7, Burbage 1-4, McMillan 0-1, Allen 0-2). Fouled Out--Montes. Rebounds--Sacred Heart 42 (Greenbacker 8), CCSU 49 (Peel 17). Assists--Sacred Heart 21 (Gaetano 9), CCSU 22 (Vinales 7). Total Fouls--Sacred Heart 24, CCSU 11. A--2,110.

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