Dowdy Makes Nine Steals, Blue Devils Drop Bulldogs 61-53
The Central Connecticut women's basketball team completed the season sweep of Bryant with a 61-53 victory on Monday night. The win improved the Blue Devils to 15-9 on the season and 8-6 in Northeast Conference action. The Blue Devils also improved to 9-1 at home this season. Senior center Justina Udenze continued to dominate the Bulldogs scoring 17 points. Junior Alexzandria Dowdy made nine steals tying a CCSU game record.
The Blue Devils fell behind early trailing by four points seven minutes into the game, but with 12:05 left in the first Dowdy hit a jumper to tie the game at 13-13. A minute later Dowdy converted her first steal of the game into an easy layup giving Central a two point lead which they would expand.
Central went on a 14-5 run which was capped when Udenze laid the ball in to give the Blue Devils a 27-18 lead. Bryant was only able to close the lead by four points. As Udenze continued to score and the Blue Devils took a 34-28 lead to the break. Udenze dropped in 13 in the first half, with seven of those coming at the free throw line.
The Blue Devils dominated the Bulldogs defensively in the second half as they registered 17 steals, including eight by Dowdy. Dowdy also led the Blue Devil offense after the break as she scored seven of her 13 points. Senior Kerrianne Dugan helped Central's defense with four steals of her own in the second half as Central forced 20 of Bryant's 31 turnovers after the break.
In the end the game came down to free throws as Bryant closed to within four points with a minute and a half left in the game. Senior Leanne Crockett knocked down a pair of free throws to make the game 57-51, and the game was locked up when freshman Jessica Babe hit Dowdy with a long pass for an easy layup to give the Blue Devils the 61-53 victory.
Dowdy's nine steals tied a CCSU single game record, previously set by Hope Lintchicum in 1985 and Keisha Carmichael in 1990.
After becoming the Blue Devils all-time leader in minutes played last game, Dugan played 36 minutes tonight becoming the first player to surpass 4,000 minutes played in her career.
The Blue Devils have only two home games left this season. They host Quinnipiac on Saturday at 1 p.m., and then they host Sacred Heart Monday night at 7 p.m.