Blue Devils Top Quinnipiac In Overtime Thriller

A three-pointer by senior Emily Rose gave Central Connecticut State University a 73-70 lead with 1:17 to play in overtime and the Blue Devils went on to defeat Quinnipiac 78-70 on the road Saturday. It marked the first win by Central over the Bobcats in the last 19 meetings. Rose, who wears number 22, celebrated her 22nd birthday with a season high 12 points, including five in the overtime period alone.

Down 62-53 with 6:05 to play in the second half, Central went on a 7-0 run behind senior P.J. Wade and junior Leanne Crockett to cut the Quinnipiac lead to two, at 62-60, with 3:27 left in regulation. Wade knocked down two free throws to start the run and then connected on a layup to make it 62-57. Junior Kerrianne Dugan found Crockett open on the wing the next time down court and Crockett hit her second shot from beyond the arc to pull the Blue Devils within two.

With less than two minutes to go CCSU was down one at 65-64 before the Blue Devil defense forced Quinnipiac into a shot clock violation with 1:18 to play. Central got junior Justina Udenze in the post and the forward drew a foul foul and hit one of two from the line to tie the score at 65-65. That would be the score the two teams took into overtime.

Rose made her mark in the first half as well, giving Central a 19-15 lead with 8:21 to play in the period with back to back baskets. With the game tied at 15-15, Rose made a cut in the paint caught the ball and turned and fired to give the Blue Devils the lead. On the next possession she caught a pass off of an inbounds play and connected on a long two-pointer just inside the arc to give CCSU the four point lead.

Quinnipiac fired back with an 11-4 run in less than four minutes of play to take back the lead at 26-23. The inside play of Courtney Kaminski was integral during the stretch as she turned two low post catches into four points for the Bobcats. With Central's Udenze and freshman Kirsten Daamen on the bench in foul trouble, Kaminski had her way in the first period. She finished the opening frame with 12 points and seven rebounds to get Quinnipiac out to the 32-29 first half lead.

The Blue Devils outscored the Bobcats 30-9 off of turnovers, forcing Quinnipiac into 24 and only committing 16. Sophomore Alexzandria Dowdy was an integral part of that equation, as she recorded five steals and only committed two turnovers. She also finished with 10 points and eight assists in the victory. Dowdy recorded an assist-to-turnover ratio of 15-to-3 during CCSU's two wins this weekend.

Crockett finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, recording her team-leading sixth double-double of the season. It was Wade that led Central in scoring against the Bobcats, tallying 16 points and adding a season-best seven rebounds for the Blue Devils.

Hampered by foul trouble throughout the game, freshman Jameilia Dillon came in off the bench to give the Blue Devils quality minutes in the post. Crockett ended up fouling out, while Udenze, Daamen and Dowdy all tallied four fouls in the game. Dillon recorded career highs of five points, four rebounds and two assists for Central.

Quinnipiac's Kaminski led the way for the Bobcats, finishing with a game high 20 points and adding nine rebounds. Jacinda Dunbar netted a double-double in the contest, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 boards. Alyssa Jann also scored 14 points, including four three-pointers, while Lisa Lebak added 10 points and seven assists.

CCSU improves to 7-11 overall and an even 4-4 in Northeast Conference play. Quinnipiac falls to 9-10 on the season and 4-4 in the NEC. Central will next host Monmouth on Thursday, January 28 at 4:30 p.m.