ROBERT MORRIS (12-4, 3-0 NEC) AT CENTRAL CONNECTICUT STATE (6-7, 3-0 NEC)
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: William H. Detrick Gymnasium
RPI Rankings: Robert Morris 76; Central Connecticut State 248
Robert Morris Players to Watch: G Velton Jones, 6-0 Jr. (15.9 ppg, 4.1 apg, 2.8 rpg); G Coron Williams, 6-2 So. (12.1 ppg, 43.5% 3s); F Mike McFadden, 6-8 So. (8.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg).
Central Connecticut State Players to Watch: F Ken Horton, 6-6 Sr. (21 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 49.2% FG); G Kyle Vinales, 6-1 Fr. (19.6 ppg, 3 apg, 1.3 spg); G Robby Ptacek, 6-3 Sr. (18.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.4 apg). Horton, Vinales and Ptacek are one of the highest-scoring threesomes in the nation at 59.1 points per game.
Storylines: The Colonials and Blue Devils are both 3-0 in the Northeast Conference entering Saturday’s battle in New Britain. The two should challenge Wagner and pre-season NEC favorite Long Island for league supremacy.
Keys to Victory: The Colonials will have to find a way to shut down Horton, who has become one of the Northeast Conference’s top offensive weapons. Behind Horton, the Blue Devils should also have a significant advantage on the boards. However, Robert Morris leads in NEC in defense – surrendering just over 60 points per contest – and CCSU has given up a lot of easy buckets this season.
The Bottom Line: Central Connecticut State has been through battles at Michigan State, Northwestern and UMass, hence its 6-7 record. Those tests should prove beneficial at home on Saturday.
The Pick: Central Connecticut State 71, Robert Morris 66.