SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The CCSU menâ€™s basketball team dropped its second straight loss against Bryant in as many days despite showing the ability to hang with the Bulldogs in the first half.Â
After losing by 25 in Thursdayâ€™s matchup and falling behind big in a hurry, the Blue Devils lost 76-64 on Friday for their seventh loss of the season. Junior Zach Newkirk led CCSU with 17 points, while Greg Outlaw scored 12 and Karrington Wallace notched an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double.Â
Redshirt senior Peter Kiss followed triple-double in the opening game with a career-high 27 points while shooting nearly 70 percent from the field. Bryant did not shoot well from long range as a team, but Chris Childsâ€™ four three-pointers anchored his 19-point performance.Â
The Blue Devils looked like they were going to lose control of the game in the first half again when a 7-3 lead quickly turned into a 16-7 deficit. Despite trailing by double-digits midway through the first half, CCSU hung around and had the game within three points by the seven-minute mark. From there, the Blue Devils missed on several attempts to tie the game or take the lead as Xavier Wilson missed a pair of threes on consecutive possessions.Â
Bryant built a five-point lead and appeared to regain control of the game with back-to-back layups with CCSU turnovers in between, but the Blue Devils bounced back to tie the game with a three from Greg Outlaw and a layup from Karrington Wallace. Five points from the Bulldogs in the final minute of the half allowed Bryant to go into halftime with a lead.
The difference between this half and game from the day before was the Blue Devilsâ€™ ability to break the Bulldogsâ€™ press and slow the game down by making shots and playing better on offense. Newkirk scored CCSUâ€™s first seven points on his way to 13 first-half points.Â
The Bulldogs returned to form from the game before immediately out of halftime scoring the first 13 of 15 points in the second half and growing the lead as large as 18 in the first five minutes. Peter Kiss followed his 10 points in first half with 10 more in the first 10 minutes of second half, highlighted by eight during the Bulldogsâ€™ early run. Kiss converted an and-one and then drilled a pull-up three-pointer on the next possession to build his teamâ€™s lead.Â
After slowing the pace in the first half, the Blue Devils allowed Bryant to run freely after the intermission. Still only with nine active players as Ian Krishnan and Myles Baker were late scratches before Thursdayâ€™s game, the Blue Devilsâ€™ legs struggled to keep up with the Bulldogs. With CCSU unable to make shots, Bryant capitalized in transition and created easy scoring opportunities.Â
The Blue Devils never managed to bring the score within 10 points again as Bryantâ€™s offense was too powerful to be slowed down. After shooting 46.2 percent from the field in the first half, CCSUâ€™s offense regressed to 35.3 percent in the second and could not keep up with the Bulldogs.
The Blue Devils will look to bounce back Jan. 14 on the road in Fairfield against Sacred Heart.