Central Connecticut State University outshot Robert Morris by a mark of 41.2 percent to 31.5 percent from the field, but the Colonials recorded 26 offensive rebounds and turned the Blue Devils over 24 times as CCSU (9-14, 6-7 NEC) fell to RMU (17-17, 12-1 NEC) by a score of 63-53 at home Thursday night. Junior Justina Udenze led Central with 17 points and 10 rebounds, recording her fourth double-double of the season in the defeat.
After RMU's Kristine Silaraja scored the first basket of the game on a three-pointer, CCSU went on a 15-4 to take a 15-7 lead over the first 4:34 of the game. Juniors Kerrianne Dugan and Udenze, as well as senior P.J. Wade each knocked down a pair of two-point baskets during the stretch. Wade added one from beyond the arc to finish off the run and give the Blue Devils the eight point lead with 15:26 left to play in the half.
An 11-3 run by the Colonials got them right back into a tie game, at 18-18. Senior Angela Pace started the run with back to back jumpers in the lane to cut into the Central lead. After Harrison converted a fast break layup, CCSU's Alexzandria Dowdy broke up the Robert Morris run with a three-pointer. Harrison ended the Colonial stretch by picking up a steal and converting a traditional three-point play to tie the game at 18 with 9:30 to play in the opening frame.
Dugan hit a jumper from the free throw line and Wade knocked down her second triple of the half before the Colonials scored 10 straight points to take a 28-23 lead just before halftime. Blue Devil freshman Kirsten Daamen cut the RMU lead to three at the break with two from the charity stripe with just over a minute to play in the period.
RMU took advantage of 15 first half turnovers for CCSU, by outscoring the Blue Devils 11-2 in points off of turnovers. Central dominated in shooting during the first 20 minutes, connecting on 47.6 percent of its shots, while hitting 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. Robert Morris only hit 25.6 percent from the field and went 1-14 from three-point range, but recorded 17 offensive rebounds to Central's three to stay ahead of the Blue Devils at the halfway mark.
CCSU gave up a 9-2 Colonial run to start second half action. The Pace to Durojaye combination was working to start the period. The senior found sophomore Mary Durojaye for layups on two separate occasions during the stretch to extend the RMU lead to 10 at 37-27 with 17:38 to play in the game.
After Robert Morris scored nine straight points in the middle of the second half to take its largest lead of the game, at 52-35, CCSU made its final effort to challenge for the game. The Blue Devils went on an 18-4 run to come within three points at 56-53 with 2:10 to play in the game. RMU's Pace scored on a layup and hit a free throw to stop the Blue Devil run and went on to the 63-53 victory.
The Colonials were led by Pace's 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Durojaye finished with 15 points and eight rebounds, with seven coming on the offensive end of the floor. Robert Morris shot an astounding 73 field goals in the game and recorded 14 assists to only 11 turnovers.
Udenze's 17 points and 10 rebounds led the way for the Blue Devils, while Dugan added 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals in the defeat. Wade was the third CCSU player in double figures on the night, tallying 10 points while adding five assists for Central. Daamen continued her hot blocking streak, recording three in only nine minutes of play.
CCSU, now 6-7 in Northeast Conference action, will host St. Francis (PA) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. before heading on the road to challenge Mount St. Mary's and Wagner on February 18 and 20.
The 2009-10 men's and women's basketball seasons are brought to
you by Farmington Bank.