There are some basketball stats that leap off the page, then occasionally you see one that seems unbelievable. Central Connecticut State put up one of those stats Sunday afternoon in downing Saint Francis, 85-77, at DeGol Arena.
The Blue Devils got 60 points from their bench, a staggering number that borders on impossible to believe the way the game is played now, with starters logging heavy minutes and providing most of the production.
Myles Baker, who averages just 6.3 points, led CCSU with 24 points off the bench. Tre Mitchell had 19, Nigel Scantlebury nine and Stephane Ayangma eight, all off the bench. No Blue Devil starter scored more than eight points.
The NCAA doesn’t seem to keep the record for most bench points scored in a college game. While 60 might not be the record, one would think it would have to be somewhat close. In the modern game, with starters doing most of the scoring, it’s hard to believe there have been too many games in decades with a team getting 60 points from its bench.
“It was an important part of the scouting report,” SFU coach Rob Krimmel said of CCSU’s bench capabilities. “We put it up, the starters are important, but those bench guys, you gotta make sure that you account for what they do and try to make them do something else. I didn’t think we did a very good job of that tonight.”
Baker and Mitchell each hit four 3-pointers, providing for much of their points from the bench. Mitchell is actually the team’s second-leading scorer at 9.5 points per game, so he’s used to getting his points off the bench.
“I give those two kids credit. … Baker and Mitchell I think scored 43, they had half their points.
“Baker came in and hit two shots early, I thought he got his confidence going, and you can see those guys feed off of it,” Krimmel added.
Another astounding thing about the bench production: CCSU hadn’t even scored 70 points in each of its last six games, and this time the Blue Devils got 60 off their bench alone.
As for his own team, Krimmel was disappointed in how things went in the second half as the Red Flash had their first two-game winning streak of the season snapped.
“The one stretch that I think really hurt us, I was just disappointed, I thought we played like a young, immature team in the second half, where our body language and we were worrying too much about the officiating — calls that are were either going against us or that we thought should go a certain way. As I told the team, when you worry about things that you can’t control, you waste energy on those, instead of being able to spend time trying to correct the problem.”
Maxwell Land led Saint Francis (5-10, 4-7 NEC) with 16 points, while Ramiir Dixon-Conover had 14 and Bryce Laskey 13.
Laskey, on CCSU’s 60 bench points:
“It’s obviously a surprising number to see. … I think that shows the guys on our team, we just have to lock more into the scouting report because I feel like you get the tendency of looking at the starters, you’re like, ‘Oh, this is who we have to worry about.’ But obviously with a talented team like CCSU, they have guys one through nine.”