Sophomore Lauren Arbogast's last second jumper gave the Central Connecticut women's basketball team a 51-49 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday afternoon. Arbogast sank the long two-pointer with just 1.2 seconds remaining in the game. The shot was set up by a pass from freshman Kaley Watras who dribbled into the lane, attracting three FDU defenders, before passing out to Arbogast.
The Blue Devils (10-10, 4-5 NEC) dominated play early in the first half. Central opened the game on a 12-2 run, before pushing the lead to 21-5 midway through the period. The Blue Devils were sparked by six points in the first four minutes from freshman Danielle Davis.
The Knights (9-12, 4-5 NEC) were able to climb back into the game late in the period, cutting the Blue Devil lead to 29-19 at the half.
In the second half, Fairleigh Dickinson continued to score cutting Central's lead to a single point on three occasions, but never taking more than a one point lead.
The Blue Devils answered with a three from junior Jaclyn Babe, who finished with a team-high 13 points. A minute later Babe scored on a fast break off a long pass from Watras who had just grabbed one of her game-high eight rebounds.
Jaclyn Babe also recorded eight rebounds to share the game-high with Watras.
With 7:21 left in the game FDU's Erika Livermore hit a layup which again dropped the Central lead to a single point. This time the Blue Devils were unable to answer and the Knights took their only lead of the game on a put-back by Mariyah Laury.
The FDU lead lasted for only 20 seconds, Watras hit a free throw to tie the game at 41-41 and then drilled a long three pointer from the top of the key to put Central ahead. A free throw from sophomore Jaleen Thomas pushed the lead to four points.
After an FDU basket, Arbogast recorded back-to-back scores to put her team ahead, 49-43.
The Knights used a 6-0 run to tie the score, 49-49, with 27 seconds remaining.
Coach Beryl Piper called a timeout with 22 seconds remaining to go over the Blue Devils' final possession. "As a coach you draw up plays to get your kids good looks in those situations, but alot of the time things happen on the floor and the players just have to react," Piper said following the game. "Kaley did a great job finding an open player and Lauren hit a huge shot when she had to. Those are the types of plays that it takes to win games in conference."
As a team Central recorded 50 rebounds in the game. Six Blue Devils recorded five or more rebounds in the game, led by Watras and Babe with eight. Daamen and Arbogast each grabbed seven rebounds with junior Jameilia Dillon and Thomas posting six and five, respectively.
Watras had 11 points in the game to join Babe in double-digits. Daamen and Arbogast each had eight points, with Arbogast scoring Central's final six points of the game.
In addition to the dramatic finish, junior center Kirsten Daamen set the CCSU women's basketball record for career blocks with her first of a game-high five blocks. Daamen entered the game with 114 career blocks, that number tied with Justina Udenze for the programs all-time record. Daamen, the NEC's leading shot blocker this season, now has 119 career blocks.
The Blue Devils have won four of their last five games, all of them have been NEC games. Central will return to action in Detrick Gym on Monday night. The Blue Devils will tip-off with Monmouth at 7 p.m.