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River Hawks Face 86-74 Setback

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Senior Ryan Jones (Rio Rancho, N.M.) tallied a season-high 18 points, as the UMass Lowell men’s basketball team (1-2) faced an 86-74 setback at Central Connecticut State (2-1) on Tuesday evening.

“If we played with the same level of intensity in the first half as we did in the second, we may have had a chance to win the game,” said Head Coach Pat Duquette. “Central Connecticut played really well tonight. They’re a good team, and obviously, we’re on the road, but we played with so much more intensity and focus in the second half. We really need to get back to work on defense and take a lot more pride in that.”

Jones, who also paced the team with four assists and five rebounds, was one of four River Hawks to score in double figures in the outing. He was joined by redshirt-junior Christian Lutete (Silver Spring, Md.) and freshman Alex Rivera(Lowell, Mass.), who posted 12 points apiece, while rookie Joey Glynn (Portsmouth, N.H.) chipped in with 10 points.

Redshirt-senior Josh Gantz (Grove City, Ohio) won the opening tip and logged the first points of the night for either side. The teams traded baskets in the early minutes and were tied on three occasions before CCSU used five straight threes to create a 22-11 buffer with 13:08 remaining in the half.

Lutete would score five in a row to make it an eight-point game at 24-16, but the home squad answered with a 9-2 run to pull ahead by double-digits once again, this time, 33-18, with less than eight minutes to go in the period. Jones and freshman Allin Blunt (Bowie, Md.) knocked down back-to-back threes, and Lutete followed with another layup, cutting the difference to just seven, however, the Blue Devils were able to outscore the visitors, 19-9, in the waning minutes of the half to take a 52-35 advantage into the break.

Central Connecticut recorded seven of the first nine points coming out of halftime before sophomore Obadiah Noel(Frederick, Md.) ignited a 14-4 run that put his team back within 12 at 63-51 with 13:25 to play. CCSU regained the momentum quickly, though, taking their largest lead of the contest at 81-57 inside of the final eight minutes. Rivera would account for six of UMass Lowell’s last eight points in the 86-74 decision.

The Blue Devils now own a 10-3 advantage in the all-time series between the two squads. The River Hawks will play three games in Providence this weekend as part of the Brown Bears Tipoff Classic beginning against host Brown on Friday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.

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