Central Connecticut (11-7, 6-2) rallied from a 17-point first half deficit, getting as close as two points, in Northeast Conference action versus visiting Quinnipiac (12-5, 6-2) at Detrick Gymnasium, before losing 63-57. Freshman Gabrielle Oglesby led CCSU with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting. Freshman Shontice Simmons added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists in the defeat.
The Blue Devils cut Quinnipiac's 17-point advantage to 33-21 by halftime, and the margin hit single digits within the second half's first four minutes. Simmons connected on a three-pointer during a 10-0 Central Connecticut run to make it a 41-32 game. The 10-0 stretch ultimately drew CCSU within four points, 41-37, with just less than six minutes run off the clock in the second half.
Quinnipiac senior Mandy Pennewell ended the Bobcats's 4:34 scoreless drought with her sixth three-pointer of the game. The triple extended the lead back to seven points, 44-37. The Blue Devils again chipped away, cutting the deficit to two points, 46-44, on a Simmons three-pointer, but that would be as close as the CCSU would get. Bobcat senior Erin Kerner sealed the win with nine of her 11 points over the final 2:40.
In addition to Oglesby and Simmons, sophomore Kerrianne Dugan reached double figures for the Blue Devils. Dugan had 10 points, three assists and two steals. Sophomore Leanne Crockett contributed six points and a game-high 12 rebounds for CCSU. Pennewell led Quinnipiac with 24 points on 9-of-17 shooting, which included a 6-of-10 effort from three-point range.
Central Connecticut trailed just 3-2 minutes into the game, but Quinnipiac scored 10 points off eight Blue Devil turnovers during a 14-0 run that lasted 3:42. Simmons ended the scoreless stretch with 1-of-2 free throws. CCSU made it a 22-11 game before back-to-back three-pointers from senior Brianna Rooney and Pennewell gave Quinnipiac its largest lead, 28-11. The Blue Devils only turned the ball over three times during the half's final 13:15.
Pennewell had 13 first half points. Simmons and Oglesby scored six each for the Blue Devils, who shot 7-of-30 (23.3 percent) from the floor.
Central Connecticut made 15-of-27 (55.6 percent) shots, including 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) threes, in the second half. The Blue Devils finished the game with a 37-35 edge in rebounding, and they outscored the Bobcats, 17-15, on points off turnovers.
CCSU will continue Northeast Conference action on Monday, Jan. 26. A 7 p.m. contest at Mount St. Mary's begins a three-game road stretch for the Blue Devils.