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CENTRAL CONNECTICUT OUTLASTS UMBC MEN'S HOOPS, 66-60
Junior forward Ron Robinson scored a game-high 20 points and freshman point guard Justin Chiera added 16 as visiting Central Connecticut State (15-11, 12-5 NEC) sent UMBc (6-20, 4-13) to its ninth straight defeat, a 66-60 triumph in a Northeast Conference contest. The Blue Devils never trailed, opening a 12-4 lead at the 15:23 mark of the first half. The Retrievers trimmed the deficit to 31-28 late in the half, but a three-pointer by Chiera gave the visitors a 34-28 margin at intermission. UMBC maintained their energy in the second half and cut the deficit to 42-41 on back-to-back layups by forwards John Zito and Andrew Feeley with 12:18 to play. But Chiera buried a three on the next possession and added another jumper to restore Central's lead to 47-41 with 10:43 to play. Sophomore Rich Pittman and Robinson followed with buckets to build the lead to nine points and the Retrievers never got within six points the rest of the way. Robinson hit 9 of 15 from the floor, while Chiera was 6 of 12, including 3 of 6 from long distance. Pittman added 10 points for the Blue Devils, while sophomore forward Rob Barrett corralled a game-high 10 rebounds. Central Connecticut shot 54.2% (26/48) for the game, while UMBC managed to go just 24 of 57 (42.9%). Three freshmen led the Retriever attack, as Zito and forward P.J. Hatcher had 14 points each, and guard Jerrell Dinkins added 10. Junior guard Kareem Washington, UMBC's leading scorer at 16.2 ppg, added 10 points, but was just 4 of 17 from the field. Central can finish no worse than third in the NEC, while UMBC, mired in last place, will miss the league tournament for the first time in five NEC seasons.