Junior Kerrianne Dugan scored 12 points and added seven rebounds a four assists, but Central Connecticut State University faltered late and was defeated by Rutgers on the road by a score of 62-53. The Blue Devils fall to 3-6 on the season, while the Scarlet Knights improve to 8-5 overall.
Rutgers got out of the blocks quickly, starting the game with a 9-2 run. Senior Brittany Ray scored the first five points on one three and one two point basket, before Dugan got the Blue Devils on the board with a rebound and putback layup. A long two-point jumper by Scarlet Knights' freshman Erica Wheeler and two free throws from sophomore April Sykes capped off the stretch for Rutgers.
After junior Leanne Crockett ended the Rutgers run with a putback layup, CCSU continued onto a 13-2 run of their own to take a 15-11 lead with 6:36 to play in the first half. After a drive and layup by sophomore Shontice Simmons and two free throws from junior Justina Udenze, Crockett connected on her first three-pointer of the game to tie it at 11-11. Sophomore Gabrielle Oglesby then hit back to back runners off the backboard to give Central the four point lead.
The Blue Devils held onto the lead as the two teams headed into the locker rooms. Freshman Brooke Bailey grabbed an offensive rebound and finished in the lane to give CCSU a 28-25 lead at the break. Crockett was integral in keeping the Blue Devils on top in the opening period, scoring 10 points including two from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes. Central shot just under 38 percent from floor in the first frame, while holding the Scarlet Knights to 26.9 percent. Central Connecticut, who averages only 17.9 turnovers forced per game, managed to force Rutgers into 12 in the first half.
The Scarlet Knight regained the lead for the first time since 11-8 when at the 12:30 mark in the second half freshman Monique Oliver finished a layup to give Rutgers a 36-34 lead. Central fired back with a three-pointer by Oglesby to make it 37-36 with 12:06 to play in the game.
After the two teams traded a pair of layups, Ray connected on her third and fourth three-point baskets of the game to give Rutgers a 44-39 lead with only 8:58 remaining. The Scarlet Knights did not relinquish their lead the rest of the way.
The Scarlet Knights benefited from only committing seven turnovers in the second half. They also improved their shooting percentage immensely from the low first half mark, finishing with 44 percent from the floor in the game. CCSU shot 33.3 percent for the game, only hitting 25 percent from beyond the arc.
Oglesby finished with 11 points, on two three-pointers, and four rebounds, while Crockett chipped in with 10 points, including two from beyond the arc. Udenze and Simmons added six points each in the Blue Devil defeat.
Ray finished with a game high 28 points for Rutgers. She connected on five of 10 three-point baskets and was nine out of 10 from the free throw line. Senior Rashidat Junaid was the only other Scarlet Knight in double figures with 10. Sophomore Chelsey Lee led Rutgers on the glass with nine rebounds.
CCSU will next compete at the Hilton Garden Classic on December 29 and 30 at Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils will play Charlotte at 5:00 p.m. on the 29th and then challenge either the host Hokies or NJIT on the 30th.