Crockett Posts Double-Double, Blue Devil Rally Falls Short in 64-61 Home Loss Versus Bryant
Central Connecticut (1-3) rallied from an 18-point second half deficit against Bryant (2-2) to get to within one point, but the Blue Devils could not finish the comeback in what was ultimately a 64-61 home loss. CCSU sophomore Leanne Crockett scored 11 points and had a game-best 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Junior P.J. Wade added a team-high 14 points, while freshman Shontice Simmons posted 10 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Bryant led by as many as nine points in the first half, but two Simmons free throws made it a 34-27 game after 20 minutes. The Bulldogs stretched their lead to 47-29 five minutes into the second half. That would be the largest margin, as Central Connecticut rallied over the final 14-plus minutes. Crockett hit a three-pointer to end Bryant's 13-2 second half start, and sophomore Justina Udenze started an 8-0 Blue Devil run which made it a 49-42 game with 10:38 remaining in the game.
The lead went to double-digits just one more time. Trailing 52-42, Central Connecticut used a 14-6 stretch to draw to within two points with just less than four minutes showing on the clock. The Blue Devils shot 7-of-9 from the free throw line during the run, which was also highlighted by a Crockett three-pointer. A pair of Bryant free throws pushed the lead back to four, but Crockett responded with another triple to make it a one-point game with 2:09 left to play. After Bryant junior Kelsey O'Keefe hit a jumper on the ensuing possession, freshman Christie Leverette connected on a pair of free throws to keep the margin at one point.
Both teams turned the ball over on the proceeding possessions, and Bryant junior Courtney Schermerhorn capitalized on CCSU's miscue with two free throws at the other end. Central Connecticut got the ball back with seven seconds remaining, but a Simmons three-pointer came off the rim.
Udenze added 10 points and eight rebounds in the loss. The Blue Devils outrebounded Bryant, 36-33, and had 24 points off 22 Bulldog turnovers. O'Keefe led the Bulldogs, who shot 25-of-51 from the floor and had a 36-18 advantage on points in the paint, with 15 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Siamone Bennett added 11 points, five rebounds and two blocks.
O'Keefe had Bryant's first seven points, helping the visitors jump out to an early 7-5 lead. Central Connecticut responded with a 7-0 run, but Bryant answered back with a 12-3 stretch. The Bulldogs shot 15-of-29 in the first half.
Central Connecticut will head on the road for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Blue Devils will face Cornell in the Rhody Classic at noon on Friday, Nov. 28. They then play host Rhode Island at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29.