The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to Quinnipiac, 64-59, on Saturday afternoon at Detrick Gym. The Blue Devils (11-13, 5-8 NEC) and Bobcats (18-6, 10-3 NEC) played an exciting second half which featured four ties and 10 lead changes. Junior Jaclyn Babe led the Blue Devils with 12 second half points, including six of her teams' final eight points.
Trailing, 24-13, with 6:34 remaining in the first half, the Blue Devil offense came alive. Junior Kirsten Daamen, Jaclyn Babe and senior Rachel Chandler all hit baskets to spark a Blue Devil run. Babe also hit a three pointer and a pair of free throws to total seven of the Blue Devils' 11 points during the three-minute strecth.
Quinnipiac answered with a free throw and a layup, which pushed the Bobcats' lead to 31-24 with just over two minutes remaining in the half.
Freshman Danielle Davis hit a layup to cut her team's deficit to five points and her classmate Johnna Fisher scored on a short jumper, in the final minute, to send the game to the half with a 31-28 score. Davis finished the first half tied for a team-high with seven points.
The Blue Devils quickly erased Quinnipiac's lead, scoring four points in the first two minutes of the second half. Sophomore Lauren Arbogast hit a pair of free throws and Jaclyn Babe hit a jumper to give the Blue Devils their first lead since the opening basket of the game.
From that point the lead would change nine more times with neither team able to take more than a two possession lead.
Central's best scoring run came over a two minute stretch that began with 14:25 left in the game. Arbogast hit a layup off of a pass from Daamen to cut the deficit to a single basket and on Quinnipiac's next possession Jaclyn Babe grabbed a long rebound and dribbled the length of the floor for the tying score.
Central took the lead seconds later when Davis converted one-of-two free throws.
Quinnipiac quickly went back on top thanks to a Nikoline Ostergaard jumper, only to have Arbogast give Central the lead with a layup on the very next possession.
Quinnipiac was able to take the lead for good on a pair of free throws with 8:38 remaining in the game. Althought Quinnipiac led for the final eight minutes, the game remained close. The Bobcats outscored the Blue Devils 12-9 over that time, before Quinnipiac hit a pair of free throws to ice the game with one second remaining.
Jaclyn Babe fell a single point shy of her seventh 20-point game of the season. She finished with a team-high 19 points and played all 40 minutes. Babe has now played more than 39 minutes in three straight games. She also had five rebounds, two assists and two steals in the game.
Arbogast was the only other Blue Devil to reach double-digit points. She scored 10 in the second half to finish with 12 for the game.
Daamen used seven offensive rebounds to record eight points and two assists. She finished with a game-high 12 boards. With three blocks today, Daamen increased her, NEC leading, season total to 64.
Free throw shooting helped Central stay in the game during the second half. The Blue Devils went 11-of-13 from the line in the period.
The Blue Devils and Bobcats will finish their NEC Rivalry Week series with a game Wednesday night at Quinnipiac. That game will tip-off at 7 p.m. in the TD Sports Center.