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Blue Devils surge past Colonials for 80-58 victory

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Wallace paces Robert Morris with 12 points and seven rebounds

Moon Township, Pa. - Feb. 5, 2011 - An 11-0 run midway through the second half helped propel Central Connecticut State to an 80-58 victory over the Robert Morris University men's basketball team Saturday night at the Charles L. Sewall Center.

The Blue Devils won their sixth straight game to improve to 16-7 overall on the 2010-11 season, including 9-3 in the Northeast Conference, while RMU dipped to 10-13 overall and 6-6 in league play.

Senior guard Gary Wallace (Montclair, N.J. / Seton Hall Prep) pulled the Colonials to within three, 51-48, with 10 minutes remaining to cap a 6-2 spurt, but CCSU scored the next 11 points to push their lead to double digits, 62-48.

Robby Ptacek started the run with a four-point play thanks to a three-pointer and subsequent foul by sophomore guard Karon Abraham (Paterson, N.J. / Harp Academy). Eight of the 11 points during CCSU's run came at the free-throw line as five different Blue Devils went to the charity stripe.

Central Connecticut State shot 88.6 percent (31-for-35) at the free-throw line overall compared to 61.9 percent (13-for-21) for Robert Morris.

Abraham snapped the run by the Blue Devils with a three-pointer with 6:46 to go to trim RMU's deficit to 62-51, but after going without a field goal for over five minutes, CCSU sealed the win by converting five straight shots over a two-minute stretch with under five minutes to play.

The Blue Devils led the  majority of the first half, taking a 27-17 advantage at the 4:29 mark thanks to a layup from Terrell Allen, but a 13-5 run helped Robert Morris trim its deficit to 33-30 at the break.

Wallace and redshirt sophomore forward Russell Johnson (Chester, Pa. / Chester) each scored five points for the Colonials during the spurt, including a three-pointer from Johnson as time expired in the first half.

RMU scored the first five points in the opening minutes of the second half to take a 35-33 advantage as junior forward Lawrence Bridges (Detroit, Mich. / Columbus State Community College) and redshirt sophomore guard Velton Jones (Philadelphia, Pa. / Northeast Catholic) scored three points, but a 17-7 surge put CCSU back on top, 50-42, with 11:28 to remaining.

Robert Morris scored six straight points, including a dunk by sophomore forward Lijah Thompson (Philadelphia, Pa. / Monsignor Bonner) to close within 51-48 before the Blue Devils answered with an 11-0 run.

Ken Horton took home game-high honors with 31 points for Central Connecticut State, hitting nine of his 13 shots from the floor while going 11-for-12 at the free-throw line. He also grabbed 10 rebounds. Shemik Thompson added 16 points, five assists and five steals for the Blue Devils, while Ptacek finished with 12 points.

Bridges and Wallace each scored 12 points to lead the Colonials, with Wallace tying a career-high in rebounds for the second straight game with seven.

Robert Morris concludes a three-game homestand Wednesday, Feb. 9, with a 7:00 p.m. tip against in-state rival Saint Francis (Pa.) at the Sewall Center.

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