The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to La Salle 71-60 on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. The Blue Devils were led by 13 points from junior Kaley Watras and a near double-double of 10 points and nine rebounds by sophomore Kayla Miller.
The Blue Devils and Explorers were tied 29-29 at the half, but La Salle opened up the game with 42 second half points. The Explorers were led by 13 second half points from Leeza Burdgess.
Watras opened the game with a pair of three pointers to give CCSU a 6-4 lead. Watras' back-to-back threes forced La Salle to call a timeout, following the stoppage she added a layup to make it an 8-4 game. She added a pair of free throws later in the period to finish the first half with 10 points.
The Blue Devils and Explorers traded baskets over the first six minutes of the second half. The score was tied five different times over the first six minutes with the last coming when La Salle tied the game at 39-39. That basket was the start of a 10-0 run for the Explorers.
Watras answered the run with a three-pointer at the 11:21 mark, but it was not enough as La Salle scored twice more to take a 51-42 lead with 10 minutes left in the period.
From there the Blue Devils remained close, but were unable to overtake the Explorers. CCSU's best run closed the gap to three points (57-54) as junior Johnna Fisher knocked down a pair of free throws with 4:13 left to play.
Watras led CCSU with 13 points, Miller also finished in double figures with 10. Senior Jessica Babe and sophomore Amanda Harrington each had eight points, while senior Brooke Bailey and Fisher each contributed six.
Miller's 10 points match her career-high set last season and her nine rebounds set a new career best single-game performance.
The Blue Devils return to action on Tuesday night against Siena at Detrick Gym. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.