The Central Connecticut women's basketball team ran its winning streak to three in a row with a 61-58 victory over Quinnipiac on Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Blue Devils to 16-9 on the season and 9-6 in Northeast Conference action. Senior Leanne Crockett hit a pair of three pointers in the final two minutes of the game to help the Blue Devils push past Quinnipiac in what proved to be a back and forth second half.
The Blue Devils fell behind early in the first, but a three from Crockett made it a 9-7 game with 12:41 left in the half. After the Bobcats tied the score at 9-9 with a pair of free throws, senior Justina Udenze went to work under the basket. The Blue Devil center scored eight straight points building a 17-9 led. Senior Kerrianne Dugan contributed to the run by assisting on a pair of Udenze's baskets.
Quinnipiac was unable to cut into Central's led because of tremendous defense from junior Alexzandria Dowdy, freshman Jessica Babe and Crockett who forced 10 Bobcat turnovers in the half. The trio combined for five steals in the period and also helped limit Quinnipiac to only 7 of 29 shooting.
The Blue Devils held the lead or were tied untill the 13:00 mark in the second half. That's when Quinnipiac took a 36-34 lead on a Felicia Barron jumper, and the Blue Devils and Bobcats started trading baskets. Neither team was able to stretch their lead to more than five points after that point.
The turning point came with the Blue Devil trailing by two with 1:34 left in the game. Thats when Crockett hit a three from the left side of the court to give the Blue Devils a 52-51 lead. Quinnipiac's Courtney Kaminski hit one of two free throws at the other end to tie the game at 52, but the Blue Devils had an answer on their next possession. Crockett hit another three, this time giving the Blue Devils a 55-52 lead, which they would protect. Babe, Dowdy, and Dugan all hit free throws to protect the lead giving the Blue Devils a 61-58 victory.
The win ties the Blue Devils with the Bobcats depending on the results of other games today that tie could be for either third, fourth, fifth, or sixth place in the NEC.
Udenze and Crockett shared a team-high 12 points, with Dugan right behind them with 11. Dugan also grabbed 10 rebounds earning her a double-double. She finished with a line of 11 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Dowdy and Babe joined Duagn with a game-high five assists.
Playoff positions will be on the line when the Blue Devils host Sacred Heart at Detrick Gym, tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.