The Central Connecticut women's basketball team dropped its Northeast Conference opener to Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon at Detrick Gymnasium. CCSU sophomore Nicole Ferguson's three-pointer put the Blue Devils (6-5, 0-1 NEC) up 59-58 with 27 seconds remaining, but seconds later RMU's Artemis Spanou countered with a three that gave the Colonials (4-7, 1-0 NEC) a 61-59 victory.
The Blue Devils built a 21-point lead with 19 minutes left to play, but a 24-12 rebounding advantage in the second half helped Robert Morris control the paint and climb back into the game. CCSU was able to hold off the Colonials until Janee Brown's jumper with 2:03 remaining gave the visitors their first lead of the game, 54-53.
Over the final two minutes CCSU and RMU traded the lead four times with Ferguson and Spanou trading three-pointers for the lead in the final 27 seconds.
Sophomore TeJahne Malone was strong off the bench for CCSU with six points, two rebounds and two steals in 15 minutes.
Neither team shot well from the field with the Colonials making 19-of-60 (31.7%) from the field and the Blue Devils connecting on 20-of-59 (33.9%). CCSU fared better from behind the three-point arc with a 37.5% (9-of-24) mark, while holding Robert Morris under 30% from long range.
The Blue Devils matched their season-low for points allowed in the first half by limiting the Colonials to 17 in the opening period. CCSU also held Siena to 17 points on December 3. However, RMU's 44 second half points are the second most the Blue Devils have allowed in a half this season.
The Blue Devils shot 41.7% (5-12) from beyond the arc in the first half. CCSU also knocked down 8-of-10 free throw attempts on its way to a 35-17 halftime advantage.
Ferguson's three-pointer with 27 seconds remaining came from the same spot that she hit the game-winning basket on Monday against Hofstra. She finished with six points. Spanou finished with 25 points and 16 rebounds for Robert Morris. Her game-winning three came with just six seconds left in the game.
The Blue Devils return to action on Monday night against Saint Francis U. That game will tip-off at 7 p.m. in Detrick Gym.