The Central Connecticut women's basketball team opened Northeast Conference play with a loss to Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon. The 54-40 setback drops the Blue Devils to 4-2 on the season and 0-1 in NEC play. Sacred Heart improves to 6-1 and 1-0 with the victory. Sophomore Jessica Babe posted her second consecutive double-double to lead the Blue Devils.
Sacred Heart led for the entire game. Early in the first half, the Pioneers built a 10-point lead, but the Blue Devils fought back and cut the deficit to three points with two minutes left in the half. A jumper from Babe cut the lead to 25-22, but Sacred Heart closed the half on a 5-0 run to take a 30-22 advantage into the break.
In the second half, the Blue Devils cut the lead to three points with 6:50 left in the game, but again Sacred Heart had an answer. The Pioneers ended the game on a 12-2 run, ending the Blue Devil comeback attempt.
Babe posted a game-high 13 rebounds and 12 points in picking up her second double-double of the season. Junior Kirsten Daamen had a team-high 14 points on five-of-10 shooting.
Defensively, both Jessica and junior Jaclyn Babe had three steals. As a team, Central forced 19 turnovers and made nine steals.
Freshman Danielle Davis came off the bench for Central and contributed four points, two rebounds and two assists.
The Blue Devils return to action on Wednesday night against Rhode Island. That game will tip-off at 7 p.m. in Detrick Gym.