The Central Connecticut women's basketball team defeated Long Island University, 68-62, on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils improve to 17-10 with the win and 10-7 in Northeast Conference play. Seniors Justina Udenze and Alexzandria Dowdy each scored 19 points for the Blue Devils in the win.
The Blue Devils started fast building a 7-2 lead that was started by a three pointer from senior Leanne Crockett and capped with a floater in the lane by freshman Jessica Babe. A pair of threes from Dowdy helped the Blue Devils retake the lead at 15-12, before a 5-0 run by the Blackbirds put Central behind 17-15.
Central used a put back by Crockett and a short jumper from Udenze to tie the score at 19-19. Following a steal by Gabrielle Oglesby the Blue Devils took a 21-19 lead on a jumper by Udenze in the paint.
Udenze scored ten straight points for the Blue Devils as they built a 27-21 lead over a five minute stretch late in the half. Central used a three by senior Kerrianne Dugan and a pair of jumpers from Babe and sophomore Kirsten Daamen.
Udenze led the Blue Devils to a 34-28 halftime lead with 12 points and five rebounds.
After the break the Blue Devil surrendered an basket and foul which cut their lead to 34-31, but baskets from Dugan, Babe and a three from Crockett sent Central on a 7-0 run and built their lead to 41-31 with 17:32 remaining.
The Blackbirds made a run cutting the Central lead to 43-40, but the Blue Devils scored five unanswered points thanks to a three from Dowdy and a fast break layup by Udenze off of a shot fake and pass from Dugan.
Central came out of the third media timeout fighting hard to protect their 53-45 lead. LIU scored ten points, but the Blue Devils used a pair of threes from Crockett and Dowdy and jumper by Oglesby to keep a 62-55 lead.
A basket by Udenze stretched the Blue Devil lead to nine with 2:30 left in the game. A lead the Blue Devils held heading into the final two minutes.
LIU cut the lead to 64-59 with 1:26 left in the game. The Blackbirds began fouling, sending Dowdy to the line who hit the first of a one-in-one. After Oglesby missed a free throw, LIU fouled Dowdy again who stepped up and knocked down both. Dowdy was three of four in the final minute to ice the game for the Blue Devils.
Udenze and Dowdy shared a team-high 19 points. Udenze and Crockett each posted a double-double, Udenze had 19 points, 13 rebounds and Crockett had 13 points, 11 rebounds.
The Blue Devils return to action on Monday night at St. Francis, tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.