SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Every team has at least one team that is a bad matchup for one reason or another. For Central Connecticut, one of them would seem to be Bryant, a relentless offensive team that is tough enough to beat as it is and even tougher if they get some defensive stops. That was in evidence in the Blue Devils’ 88-67 loss to the Bulldogs on Thursday night, especially in the second half as Bryant broke open what was a close game for some of the first half and showed the growing pains this Central Connecticut team has had.
Central Connecticut has just one senior to go with four freshmen and a junior college transfer. Last season’s team had three seniors, all very experienced, along with a junior, so while last year’s team also had some youth they had more veterans to carry them. Head coach Howie Dickenmann is now starting three underclassmen and is bringing the one senior, Joe Efese, off the bench. How long he will stick with that lineup remains to be seen, but to a degree Tuesday night is an aberration because they struggled against a hot offensive team. The Bulldogs shot over 53 percent from the field on the evening.