January 7, 2010

Blue Devils Drop 79-62 Decision at Monmouth

Junior Kerrianne Dugan scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists, but Central Connecticut State University dropped a 79-62 decision at Northeast Conference foe Monmouth on Thursday afternoon. The Blue Devils shot 49.0 percent from the floor, but allowed the Hawks to shoot 59.6 percent overall and 54.5 percent from beyond the three-point arc. CCSU falls to 4-9 on the season and 1-2 in the NEC.

Senior P.J. Wade got the Blue Devils off to a quick start, scoring CCSU's first three points. The captain knocked down a pull up jumper for Central's first basket and after a steal by junior Leanne Crockett, Wade was fouled on the break. She knocked down one of two from the line and then passed the scoring on to her teammates during the Blue Devils' next two possessions. After coming off a ball screen, Wade found a wide open Kirsten Daamen under the basket. The freshman finished the layup to give CCSU its first lead of the game at 5-4. Wade again gave up her own scoring opportunity the next time down court when she found sophomore Alexzandria Dowdy in the corner for a three-pointer. The Blue Devils held an early 8-4 lead.

With the Blue Devils holding a slight 12-10 lead just under five minutes into the game, Monmouth went on a 21-4 run to take a 31-16 lead with 8:16 to play in the first half. The Hawks were led by freshman Alysha Womack who connected on four baskets during the stretch, including three from beyond the arc. Womack's career best for three-pointers in a game was two coming into today's contest and the freshman recorded three within this seven minute span.

CCSU cut the Hawk lead down to nine on three straight layups by Blue Devil underclassmen. Daamen put back a missed jumper to start the run, which was followed by a steal by freshman Brooke Bailey and fast break layup by Dowdy. Bailey then cut it to 33-24 when she drove the paint and executed a perfect spin move to finish with her left hand.

Monmouth's hot shooting continued as they extended their lead back to 15 by the break, leading 41-26. The Blue Devils came into today's game holding their opponents to 36.7 percent from the floor (second in the Northeast Conference) and allowed MU to shoot a staggering 57.1 percent from the field and 50.0 from behind the three-point line.

The second half was more of the same story, as Monmouth shot 62.5 percent from three-pointers and overall. The Hawks finished with a 59.6 field goal percentage for the game, more than 10 percent higher than any previous Central Connecticut opponent this season. The Blue Devils nearly matched the Hawks' offensive efficiency in the second period, shooting 56 percent from the floor. CCSU finished with an overall shooting percentage of 49.0, the best mark for Central this season.

Womack and freshmen Abby Martin and Carly Thibault each recorded eight points in the second half to lead Monmouth to the 79-62 victory. Womack recorded two more three-pointers, on only two attempts, to make her a perfect five for five from behind the line in the game. The freshman was 10-12 from the floor for a game high 25 points. Womack's previous career high was 15 points.

Dugan helped cut into what was a Monmouth 25 point second half lead. She scored 13 of her team high 15 points in the second period. The junior also led the Blue Devils with eight rebounds and four assists, while picking up two steals in the loss. Thursday was the first time CCSU had shot better than 40 percent from the three point line, connecting on three out of seven attempts from long range. Crockett hit two out of four, while Dowdy knocked down her only attempt early in the game.

Dowdy finished with nine points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Crockett scored eight points, grabbed four boards and picked up a game high four steals. Daamen and Bailey each scored eight points in the defeat.

Central Connecticut is now 4-9 on the season and 1-2 in NEC play. The Blue Devils will stay on the road, playing at Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, January 9 at 5:00 p.m.

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