The Central Connecticut women's basketball team defeated Mount St. Mary's, 72-68, on Monday night. The Blue Devils (13-16, 7-11 NEC) close the 2012 season with a victory thanks to a team effort that had five players score in double-digits. The Mountaineers' (14-15, 10-8 NEC) led early in the game, but Central took control mid-way through the first half and never relinquished the lead.
Central fell behind 8-0 to start the game, but the Blue Devils railied to tie the game at 12-12. The Blue Devils' 12-4 run was sparked by four points from freshman Kaley Watras who finished the half with seven points.
The Blue Devils closed the period on an 11-2 run over the final seven and a half minutes. Junior Jaclyn Babe scored six of the 11 points over the stretch.
The Mount had two major runs in the second half that threatened the Blue Devils' lead. The first came at the start of the period when the Mountaineers scored seven straight points and eventually built a 12-2 run, which cut the Blue Devil lead to one.
Central answered, but could not put distance between themselves and the Mount until junior Kirsten Daamen hit a pair of free throws with 5:01 remaining. Daamen's free throws gave the Blue Devils a 54-42 lead.
From there, the Mount launched its second run on the scoreboard. The Mountaineers, used a 15-7 streak to cut the Blue Devil lead to 61-57, but the Central players responded and did not allow the Mount to get closer than four points over the final two minutes.
Sophomores Lauren Arbogast and Jessica Babe each hit a pair of free throws over the final 1:35 of the game. Jaclyn Babe was fouled twice in the final 30 seconds and hit all four shots from the line. Watras also hit a free throw in the final seconds. As a team, the Blue Devils finished the game 23-of-27 (85.2%) from the line.
The Blue Devils scored 39 second half points to earn the 72-68 victory. Jaclyn Babe scored 11 of her 19 points after the break and Daamen added eight points and five blocks that helped stop the Mountaineers' comeback. Daamen also had three steals in the second half.
Jaclyn Babe led the Blue Devils with 19 points. She was joined in double-digits by Watras (14), Daamen (12), Jessica Babe (11) and Arbogast (10).
Freshman Johnna Fisher was the only other Blue Devil to score in the game she had six points and grabbed four rebounds. Every Blue Devil player had atleast one rebound, led by five each for Jaclyn Babe and Arbogast.
"We played well today. I think it is an example of the team we can be," head coach Beryl Piper said after the game. "It is tough not making the NEC Tournament, but we learned a lot about our team with all the injuries this season and we will be back next year."
Statistical Notes From the 2012 Season:
Jaclyn Babe's 446 points this year rank as the sixth best single-season mark in program history.
Daamen's 70 blocks are the second best single-season total and she now has three of the top-10 seasons in program history.
Despite missing several games because of injury Jessica Babe logged 104 assists, tying for the ninth highest single-season total in program history.