LORETTO, Pa. – Robby Ptacek tied his career and season highs with 26 points and Central Connecticut State made 13 of 14 free throws in the final 58 seconds to hold off St. Francis (Pa.) 86-79 on Thursday night.
The Blue Devils (15-7, 8-3 Northeast Conference) won their fifth straight game after watching a 29-point first-half lead dwindle to 63-56 with 4:43 left.
After Central Connecticut State rebuilt a double-digit lead, the Red Flash (7-15, 5-6) got to 73-65 with 1:04 to go. The Blue Devils did the rest from the line, with Shemik Thompson going 9 of 10 to finish with 23 points.
Central Connecticut State hit 35 of 45 foul shots and 23 of 44 field goals (52.3 percent).
Umar Shannon scored 27 to lead the Red Flash, who shot 23.8 percent in the first half (5 of 21) to match a season low of 16 points, then posted a season-high 63 second-half points on 54.8 percent shooting (23 of 42).