CCSU men's basketball picks up big victory at La Salle

Central would have been fighting Sacred Heart for the honor of best NEC win of the day before Quinnipiac went and made all the other results of the night insignificant in comparison without even winning. The talk of the NEC being on the way up was confirmed Sunday, a day the league badly needed after a bad start to the season which featured missed opportunities to win big games.

The Blue Devils didn't miss their chance Sunday, heading down to Philly and coming back with a big win over La Salle. Not only was it a win over an A-10 school, but it was further evidence that the Blue Devils are no longer a one-man show. Kyle Vinales was good, but it was everyone else pitching in, especially late, which made this one so nice for Central.

If you consider Central should have at least split the first two games, having leads in the second half of each and the ball in the air at the end of both for either the win or a tie, the Blue Devils have to be thrilled with where they stand considering how many questions they had coming into the year.

You can't get too excited about Game 4 of the regular season when there's 25 to go, but you're allowed to enjoy this one if you're a CCSU fan. Let's look at who made it possible by playing man-to-man.

Adonis Burbage
Let's see, 7-of-8, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range, five boards, two assists and only one turnover while playing the entire 40 minutes. Not a bad night. At some point, someone is going to start guarding him a little more closely, which will only free up others.

Joe Efese
Foul trouble was all that kept him from a big night. Five rebounds in 28 minutes isn't bad, and his shooting percentages have been fantastic. Most importantly, he has handled himself beautifully through an incredibly difficult time of late.

Kyle Vinales
The good: 23 points, 3 assists and 2 turnovers. The bad: He's still making some hurried decisions late in games, though he is clearly starting to minimize them, which is a great sign. It's going to be fun to watch him grow up as the year goes on. The other bad sign: He's consistently playing 40 minutes. Howie Dickenman has to find a way to get him a couple of minutes of rest here and there. Maybe the last minute of the half or 2 minutes on each side of a TV timeout. I'm not saying he needs to play 25 minutes, but 35 would be a nice change.

Malcolm McMillan
His best overall game as a Blue Devil. He did a little bit of everything, including nailing a late jumper which sealed the win. His three steals and two blocks were indicative of his defensive work, and he didn't have a turnover in 38 minutes. Just a wonderful performance.

Matt Hunter
Did the light go on Sunday afternoon? Hunter had just one turnover in 34 minutes on offense and was his usual strong defensive self, getting three steals and a block. If he can bottle that effort, he doesn't have to make a lot of shots to be effective.

Terrell Allen 
Not a lot of stats to speak of, but he ate up some minutes so the starters didn't have to play all 200 themselves.

Brandon Peel
See Terrell Allen.

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