NEW BRITAIN, Conn. —
Matt Hunter scored 23 points and Central Connecticut State was near-perfect at the foul line to edge St. Francis 84-81 Thursday night in double overtime.
The Blue Devils (13-15, 9-8 Northeast Conference) led
39-30 at halftime, but a layup by St. Francis’ Ollie Jackson (18 points) with 0:02 left forced overtime. St. Francis (5-23,
5-12) led 75-72 in the first OT, but Central Connecticut’s Malcolm McMillan was fouled on a 3-point shot and made three free throws to tie it.
Greg Brown (20 points) scored all six Red Flash points in the second overtime, but Hunter (7 for 7 at the line) scored four points, including two foul shots with 2:03 left for an 84-79 lead. The Blue Devils hit 15 of 16 free throws.
St. Francis made a season-high 14 3-pointers, but took 38 attempts.
The Red Flash were 0 for 7 in overtime and just 2 for 14 from the field in the extra frames.
The Blue Devils shot 31-of-55 from the field and 7 of 15 from the 3-point arc in the game. They shot 56.4 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from three.
Kyle Vinales scored 19 points for CCSU and Joe Efese added 16.
As a team the Blue Devils shot 15 of 16 from the line in the victory. None were bigger than three made free-throws from sophomore Malcolm McMillan with 12 seconds on the clock in the first overtime.
Down by three, McMillan was fouled taking a 3-point shot. He calmly made all three free-throws to send the game to a second overtime.
McMillan finished the game with seven points and five rebounds. Classmate Kyle Vinales had 19 points and four assists in the win. Senior Joe Efese had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Efese now has double-figure points and six or more rebounds in five straight games for the first time in his career.
The Blue Devils will be the seventh seed in next week’s NEC Tournament, and will play on the road. Their opponent is to be determined, but will be either Bryant, Wagner, LIU Brooklyn or Quinnipiac.