Junior Leanne Crockett scored 22 points, connecting on a career-best six three-pointers, but Central Connecticut State University (10-17, 7-10 NEC) fell to Long Island (19-9, 13-4 NEC) by a score of 73-61 at home Thursday night. Crockett also finished with 12 rebounds to tally her team-leading eighth double-double of the season. Her six three-pointers tie her for the third best three-point performance in a single-game for a CCSU player.
The Blue Devils jumped out to a 14-8 lead as Crockett fueled a 7-0 run from 17:49 to 14:04 in the first half. Crockett started off the run with a three-pointer off of a pass from senior Emily Rose. Junior Kerrianne Dugan then connected on a driving layup before finding Crockett off of an inbounds play to take the six point lead.
LIU then went on a 22-4 run to take a commanding 30-18 lead with only 5:22 to play in the opening frame. Junior Justine Stevenson was integral in the Blackbird run, starting it off with a layup to breakup the Blue Devil streak. Just over one minute later she connected on a traditional three-point play to get within one point of CCSU. She downed another two-point jumper with 11:47 left in the half as she recorded seven points during the stretch.
The Blackbirds went into the break with a 35-22 lead after shooting 48.3 percent from the floor and connecting on three out of six from beyond the arc. Long Island held Central to only a 27.6 percent field goal percentage and two out of 13 from three-point range during the first 20 minutes of play.
LIU continued to lead during second half action as junior Chelsi Johnson picked up the scoring, tallying six out of the Blackbirds' first 15 points of the final period. The Blue Devils finally started to make their way back into the game when they trailed 60-44 with only 7:23 to play in the game.
CCSU connected on three straight jumpers from beyond the arc to get within seven points. Crockett started off the run with a triple, followed by three-pointers from Dugan and sophomore Alexzandria Dowdy. After Long Island's Connie James interrupted the three-point barage with a layup, Rose came back with a fourth straight triple for Central to make it 62-56 with just over five minutes left to play.
That would be as close as the Blue Devils would come as Long Island went on to the 73-61 victory in New Britain. The Blackbirds shot an astounding 58.3 percent in the second half to give them a 52.8 percent field goal percentage for the game. LIU also connected on five of nine from beyond the arc.
Junior Heidi Mothershead led the Blackbirds with 19 points, while James almost recorded a triple-double as she finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the victory. Johnson and sophomore Ashley Palmer also scored in double figures, recording 13 and 12 respectively.
Crockett led the Blue Devils with her 22 points and 12 boards. Her six three-pointers moved her into third place in CCSU annals for career triples as she now has connected on 103 in her two seasons at Central. Crockett also tied teammate Rose's CCSU record of 52 three-pointers in a single season. The senior recorded 52 during the 2007-08 season.
Junior Justina Udenze and Dugan also finished in double-figures for Central. The former recorded 12 points, five assists and two blocks, while the latter finished with 11 points and nine rebounds in the defeat. Rose chipped in with eight points, including two from beyond the arc.
Central Connecticut will now travel to St. Francis (NY) for its final regular season game of the season. A win in Brooklyn will put CCSU as the six seed in next weekend's Northeast Conference Tournament at St. Francis (PA). With a loss to the Terriers the Blue Devils will still earn a berth into the league tournament.
The 2009-10 men's and women's basketball seasons are brought to
you by Farmington Bank.