The Central Connecticut women's basketball team will play the Bryant Bulldogs at 1 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils (13-12, 7-7 NEC) are looking to sweep the seasons series from the Bulldogs (10-14, 6-7 NEC) and climb higher in the Northeast Conference standings.
Here are some notes on the Blue Devils heading into Saturday:
Today • The Blue Devils (12-12, 6-7 NEC) visit Smithfield for a Northeast Conference women's basketball game with Bryant (10-14, 6-7 NEC). Today's game will have a major impact on the NEC playoff picture with teams two through eight in the standings separated by just four games. The Blue Devils earned their first NEC win of the season against Bryant on Jan. 12, a 59-50 victory. Last season, the Blue Devils fell to the Bulldogs at home, but earned a victory over Bryant at the Chace Center.
Series History • The Blue Devils hold a 5-4 advantage in the all-time Division I series between these programs. CCSU broke the series tie with a 59-50 victory on Jan. 12, at Detrick Gym. The Blue Devils and Bulldogs split last season's meetings with the road team winning each game, Bryant won at Detrick Gym, 68-62, and the Blue Devils won in Smithfield, 75-62. Central swept the 2010-11 series, winning both games by eight points. The 2009-10 series was a split with the home team winning each game and Bryant swept the 2008-09 series. The largest margin of victory in this series came at Detrick Gym on 2/6/10 with the Blue Devils winning, 73-59, a 14-point margin of victory.
The Schedule • Today's game marks the fifth CCSU contest in an 11 day stretch. CCSU has had two days of rest entering today following a stretch of four games in eight days.
The Playoff Picture • Heading into today's action Quinnipiac is the lone team to have punched a ticket to the NEC Tournament. Behind the Bobcats are eight teams that are within four games of second place. Sacred Heart currently leads the pack with a 10-3 record and Robert Morris is in ninth place with a 6-8 mark. In between are Monmouth (9-5), Saint Francis U (8-6), St. Francis BK (8-6), CCSU (7-7), Mount St. Mary's (7-7) and Bryant (6-7). Currently in 10th place is Fairleigh Dickinson at 5-9, the Knights are also in the playoff hunt. With the exception of Sacred Heart and Bryant each team in the NEC has four games remaining entering today.
Assisting the Team • Junior Jessica Babe dished out eight assists on Wednesday night to help CCSU defeat LIU Brooklyn. Along the way she passed a pair of milestones. With her fifth assist of the game she reached 250 for her career and now with 253 she ranks 10th on CCSU's all-time list. With her seventh assist of the game Babe reached 100 for the season. She is now just
one behind her previous season-best total of 102 set last season.
Round Numbers • Senior Kirsten Daamen is just 20 points shy of 800 for her career. Also approaching milestone scoring numbers are junior Jessica Babe (26 points from 600), junior Lauren Arbogast (26 points from 500) and sophomore Kaley Watras (19 points from 400).
Victory Over LIU • The Blue Devils used a great first half to open a 38-19 lead over LIU on Wednesday night (2/20). CCSU allowed the Blackbirds to climb back into the game in the second period, but the Blue Devils held on for the victory. Junior Jessica Babe posted a fantastic line of 13 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and three steals. Sophomore Kaley Watras with 16
points and senior Kirsten Daamen with 18 led CCSU in scoring.
Daamen's Buckets • Senior Kirsten Daamen has scored 35 points over her last two games. She has raised her scoring average from 8.8 to 9.5 pts/g during the two game stretch.