Central Connecticut (4-4, 1-0) opened its Northeast Conference season with a 66-41 home victory over Mount St. Mary's (3-3, 0-1). It was the largest margin of victory against an NEC foe since the Blue Devils defeated Long Island 68-38 on Jan. 25, 1999 in Detrick Gymnasium. Freshman Shontice Simmons led CCSU with 18 points. She also had five assists and five steals. Sophomore Kerrianne Dugan added 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals in the win.
Behind eight points on a lay-in and two three-pointers from Simmons, the Blue Devils forged an 18-10 lead at the start of the game. The Mount cut the deficit to 18-15 with 10:08 to play in the opening period, but they only scored three more points for the remainder of the half. Central Connecticut's defense propelled the 8-3 half-ending run. Sophomore Justina Udenze had five of her career-high seven blocks over the half's final 10 minutes, and the Blue Devils forced six Mount St. Mary's turnovers during the same stretch. CCSU led 26-18 at the break.
Simmons led all players with 10 first half points. Dugan added five points, four rebounds and four assists, while Udenze had four points and five blocks. The Blue Devils limited the Mount to 24.1 percent shooting and forced 11 turnovers. Sophomore Mary Dunn had 11 points and seven rebounds to lead Mount St. Mary's.
Central Connecticut pushed its lead to 24 points with a 25-9 start to the second half. The Blue Devils made four three-pointers and shot 10-of-21 from the floor during the run. Mount St. Mary's responded with an 11-0 stretch but never got closer than 13 points. CCSU held the Mount scoreless over the game's final five minutes and limited them to just three points over the final 7:23.
The Blue Devils finished the game with 21 steals. They forced 28 Mount St. Mary's turnovers and scored 23 points off those miscues. CCSU also held a 28-16 advantage on points in the paint. The Mountaineers shot 28.6 percent over the final 20 minutes, finishing the game with a 26.3 percent clip from the floor.
Sophomore Leanne Crockett added six points and a team-best nine rebounds for Central Connecticut. Udenze added six points, eight rebounds and seven blocks. Dunn finished with 16 points and nine rebounds for the Mount. Senior Brianna Gauthier added 10 points and four steals in the loss.
Central Connecticut will continue league play with a 7 p.m. contest at Long Island on Thursday, Dec. 11.