The Central Connecticut women's basketball team dropped its season opener to UCF on Friday evening by a score of 65-51. The game was played at the CFE Arena on the Orlando campus of UCF. Senior Jessica Babe led CCSU with a game-high 21 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
The Blue Devils (0-1) trailed 24-23 at the half and opened the second period with four baskets over the first four minutes to take a 32-28 lead. CCSU used a pair of free throws by Babe and a layup by sophomore Kayla Miller to extend its lead to seven points with 14:29 remaining in the game.
CCSU held the lead until UCF's Sara Djassi hit a layup and free throw to give the Knights (1-0) a 45-41 lead with 8:38 left to play. Seconds later, Miller hit a layup to put CCSU back in front, but the one point lead was erased minutes later on a layup by UCF's Zykira Knight. The Blue Devils were unable to regain the lead as UCF closed the game with a 25-7 run over the final 10 minutes of regulation.
In the first half, the Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead behind the shooting of Babe who connected on 4-of-7 field goal attempts and 3-of-6 three point attempts in the first half. Babe helped CCSU grab leads of 7-2 and 20-14 early in the game. She finished the period with 11 points and six rebounds.
UCF was able to take a 24-23 lead into the half with a 10-3 run over the final 7:19 of the period.
Babe led CCSU in points (21), rebounds (8), assists (4) and steals (3). She connected on seven-of-13 field goal attempts and four-of-10 three point attempts.
Senior Lauren Arbogast was CCSU's number two scorer with seven points. She also grabbed six rebounds. Right behind Arbogast was sophomore TeJahne Malone who scored six points and grabbed five rebounds in just seven minutes of action. Malone was two-of-three from the floor and connected on a pair of free throw attempts.
Senior Jaleen Thomas grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds. She also had four points in the game.
Sophomore Amanda Harrington had a solid game off the bench with five points and seven rebounds.
CCSU held a 52-46 advantage on the boards, but the Blue Devils were unable to capitalize on their rebounding success. As a team, the Blue Devils shot just 26.8% (19-71) from the floor and 16.1% (5-31) from behind the arc. CCSU was successful at the free throw line connecting on eight-of-10 attempts.
The Blue Devils return to action on Sunday afternoon at USF. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 2 p.m.