Blue Devils Upended By NJIT In Second Game at Hilton Garden Classic

Sophomore Gabrielle Oglesby and junior Justina Udenze scored 14 and 12 points off the bench, respectively, but Central Connecticut State University was upended by New Jersey Institute of Technology by a score 69-66 in the consolation of the Hilton Garden Classic at Virginia Tech. The Blue Devils outscored the Highlanders 43-18 in bench points, but fell to 3-8 on the season with the loss. NJIT improved to 4-8 with the victory.

After NJIT made it 47-46, taking its first lead since 26-25 in the first half, CCSU scored 10 straight points to take a 56-47 lead with 8:22 remaining in the game. Junior Kerrianne Dugan was intergral during the stretch, as she connected on two free throws, a jumper and a fast break layup to give the Blue Devils the late lead. The Highlanders then went on a 8-0 run of their own to cut the Central lead to one, at 56-55 with only 5:49 to play in the game.

Two free throws from junior Leanne Crockett gave the Blue Devils a three point lead at 60-57, before NJIT scored six straight points to take a three point lead of their own that would prove enough to give them the victory as they took the consolation game by a score of 69-66 when senior Taiwo Oyelola connected on a free throw for her 14th point of the contest. Oyelola also led all players with 13 rebounds in the game.

Central Connecticut gave up the first eight points of the game and allowed NJIT to get out to a 12-2 lead less than five minutes into the opening half. The Blue Devils scored the next six points to cut it to 12-8. Dugan assisted on back to back plays, feeding Udenze with a tip pass and then finding Oglesby on the right baseline for a jumper.

Down 19-10 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half senior Emily Rose came in off the bench and started a CCSU 13-0 run that led to a 23-19 lead. The Elkton, VA native hit her first of three from beyond the arc to start the run. After a layup by Udenze, Rose hit back to back triples to give Central its first lead of the game at 21-19. Udenze then capped the run with another layup to make it 23-19 with just 8:04 to play in the half.

Udenze and Oglesby each tallied 10 points in the first half to lead the Blue Devils to a 34-29 first half edge. Rose was right behind them with her nine points on three for three shooting from behind the arc.

Dugan finished with seven points, five assists and three steals in the game and was selected to the All-Tournament Team for her performance in the two-day tournament at Virginia Tech. Sophomore Alexzandria Dowdy contributed with a solid all-around game, scoring eight points, while grabbing a career best eight rebounds and dishing out five assits. Junior Leanne Crockett led the Blue Devils with 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive side of the court.

The Highlanders finished with four players in double figures. Taiwo Oyelola led with 14 and 13, while her sister Kehinde Oyelola was next with 13 on three of five shooting from beyond the arc. Junior Jessica Gerald and senior Katie Piekielski chipped in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Central Connecticut is now 3-8 on the season and will next host St. Francis (NY) on January 4 at 7:00 p.m. It will be CCSU's second Northeast Conference game of the season.

The 2009-10 men's and women's basketball seasons are brought to you by Farmington Bank.