Women's Basketball Season Ends in NEC Semifinals
The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to St. Francis 68-62 in the Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinals. The Blue Devils were lead by their seniors, as Justina Udenze scored 16 points, Leanne Crockett 14, and Kerrianne Dugan 11. The game went back-and-forth and featured 11 lead changes, but the Red Flash came out on top. The Blue Devils finish the season at 19-11, that mark is best record since the 1989-90 season.
The Blue Devils won the tip and scored on their opening possession, but St. Francis ran off nine unanswered points to take a 9-2 lead early in the game. Following a Blue Devil time out senior Kerrianne Dugan nailed a three pointer and junior Gabrielle Oglesby added a layup to cut the score to 9-7 before the first media timeout.
Dugan's three sparked a 12-3 run for the Blue Devils who eventually lead 15-12 at its conclusion. The big shot came from senior Leanne Crockett who hit a three with 15:21 left in the half to give Central its first lead.
Oglesby stepped to the line and hit a free throw to push the Blue Devil lead to 24-18 coming out of the third media timeout. Following that basket the Red Flash ran off eight consecutive points taking a 26-24 lead. The teams traded scores with St. Francis taking a 33-29 lead with 3:45 to play in the half.
A pair of free throws by freshman Jessica Babe with 1:28 left in the half cut the St. Francis lead to only one point. That 35-34 score held over the final 88 seconds of the half, as the Blue Devils went to the locker room trailing.
Crockett led the Blue Devils with 14 points in the half. She hit five shots including four three pointers. She also grabbed five of Centrals 15 rebounds in the period.
Despite being called for five fouls in the first four minutes of the second half the Blue Devils were able to briefly retake the lead from St. Francis with four points each from Dugan and Udenze. The 42-40 lead didn't last long as St. Francis hit a three pointer to retake the lead before the first media timeout.
Central grabbed the lead again on a layup by junior Alexzandria Dowdy with 11:53 left in the game. The 44-43 lead didn't last long as St. Francis hit a pair of free throws coming out of the timeout to make it a 45-44 game.
The Blue Devils trailed 62-56 with 2:06 left in the game. Udenze hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to four. A pair of St. Francis free throws pushed the lead back to six, but Dugan finished a nice drive to the basket to make it a 64-60 game.
Babe stole the next inbounds pass and freshman Jaleen Thomas put in a rebound to make it a two point game, but the Red Flash again hit a pair of free throws making the lead 66-62. Another pair of free throws made it 68-62 and the Blue Devils were unable to comeback.
Udenze posted a double-double to lead the Blue Devils with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Blue Devils finish the 2010-11 season at 19-11. The 19 wins are the most for a Central Connecticut women's basketball team in more than two decades.