Junior Kerrianne Dugan and sophomore Alexzandria Dowdy scored season highs of 19 and 11 points, respectively, but Central Connecticut State University (3-7) dropped a 66-51 decision to Charlotte (6-6) in the opening game of the Hilton Garden Classic at Virginia Tech. Sophomore Shontice Simmons added 10 points, six assists and three rebounds in the defeat.
Dugan scored the final four points of the first half on two layups to give Central a 26-24 lead heading into the locker rooms. She tied the game at 24-24 with 2:35 remaining in the opening period when she drove to the basket and finished a left-handed runner in the lane. The forward then gave the Blue Devils the lead with 1:53 to play when Simmons found her streaking down the left side. Dugan finished the fastbreak layup to make it 26-24. The Waterford, CT native finished with a game-best 13 first half points.
Simmons entered the game after 7:04 had ticked off the clock and made in impact quickly. She knocked down two three-pointers on only two attempts, while adding three rebounds and three assists during her 10 minutes of court time in the first half.
The 49ers scored the first nine points of the second half and went on a 15-1 run to take a 39-27 lead with 14:13 to play in the second half. Junior guard Kendria Holmes started the run with a jumper to tie the game at 26-26 just 15 seconds into the second period. After freshman Jennifer Hailey's layup gave Charlotte a lead it would not relinquish, Holmes knocked down a three-pointer to spark the scoring spree for the 49ers.
Charlotte extended the lead to 15 at 46-31 on a layup by freshman Jaquaria Forney. The Blue Devils would make a run to get back into the game when both point guards, Simmons and Dowdy, played on the court together. CCSU went on a 12-3 run to cut it to 51-44 with 4:58 to play in the game. Simmons contributed four points, while Dowdy recorded five points during the late game stretch. Seven points was the closest Central would get as the 49ers finished the final five minutes on a 13-5 run to take the neutral court game by a score of 66-51.
Dugan's 19 points tied a season-best for any Blue Devil in the 2009-10 season. Simmons also recorded 19 on the road against Brown earlier in the year. Simmons's 10 points marked her sixth double digit scoring output of the season. Dowdy hit double figures for the first time this season with her 11 points. Sophomore Gabrielle Oglesby led CCSU in rebounding with eight, including four on the offensive end.
Charlotte was led by senior Ashley Spriggs, who tallied 18 points, five rebounds and three assists. Senior Erin Floyd was the only other 49er in double figures, tallying 10 points, while adding seven rebounds and five assists. Hailey led Charlotte with nine rebounds and chipped in eight points in the victory.
Central Connecticut falls to 3-7 on the season, while Charlotte improves to 6-6 in 2009-10. The Blue Devils will play the loser of Virginia Tech and NJIT and the 49ers will take on the winner in the championship of the Hilton Garden Classic on Wednesday.
The 2009-10 men's and women's basketball seasons are brought to
you by Farmington Bank.