Junior Kirsten Daamen scored a game-high 23 points as the Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell on the road at James Madison, 71-64. The Blue Devils (6-3, 0-1 NEC) closed to within two points late in the second half, but couldn't over take the Dukes (7-1, 0-1 CAA) for the upset. James Madison was ranked #9 in this week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.
The Blue Devils received strong second half performances from Daamen and junior Jaclyn Babe. Daamen scored 12 of her 23 points in the second half and Babe posted 10 of her 16 after the break.
With six minutes remaining in the game, the Blue Devils delivered a 6-0 run that forced James Madison into a timeout. The run started with a jumper by Babe that cut the lead to 60-54.
Thirty seconds later Daamen followed with a layup to cut the lead to four. After a missed shot by JMU, Babe passed to Daamen who delivered a jumper from the top of the key to cut the lead to 60-58, with the Dukes taking a timeout to stop the momentum change.
The two point defecit was the closest the Blue Devils would get in the second half.
Sophomore Lauren Arbogast scored Central's last four points of the game. She knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:39 left in the game to cut the lead to 67-62. After JMU scored, Arbogast again delivered, this time a jumper with 23 seconds left that cut the lead to five points.
The Dukes closed the game on an 11-6 run to earn the victory.
The Blue Devils were down nine points before Daamen scored Central's first basket of the game. Daamen scored the first six points of the game for Central before junior Jaclyn Babe dropped in her first points. Babe's basket, and another quick score by sophomore Jessica Babe, cut JMU's lead to 14-10 with just over 13 minutes left in the half.
A late push by the Blue Devils cut the lead to 30-29 with two minutes left in the period. Daamen scored five points in just over a minute and junior Brooke Bailey's layup brought the Blue Devils within one for the first time in the game.
Daamen finished the half with a team-high 11 points.
The 23 points are a career-high for Daamen. It was her second 20+ point game of the season and her fifth time leading the team in points this season.
Babe scored 16 points with five rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Jessica Babe had a team-high six assists, all in the second half. She also scored 10 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had all three of Central's steals.
The Blue Devils return to action on Tuesday for the opening round of the Hofstra Holiday Tournament. The Blue Devils open with the host on Tuesday afternoon.