The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to LIU Brooklyn by a score of 60-51 at the Steinberg Center on Monday night. The Blue Devils (7-7, 1-3 NEC) and Blackbirds (3-12, 1-3 NEC) exchanged the lead eight times in a closely played second half.
After a slow start to the game the Blue Devils closed the first half with an 18-7 run that cut LIU's lead to a single point heading into halftime. The Blackbirds held an 18-6 lead nearly 12 minutes into the period, but a jumper by sophomore Raven Makins sparked the CCSU offense over the final eight minutes of the half.
Accompanying CCSU's late run was a strong defensive effort that held the Blackbirds off the scoreboard for a four minute stretch between 8:25 and 4:18. During those four minutes CCSU outscored LIU 8-0 and cut the Blackbird lead to four points at 18-14.
LIU led 25-24 at the half, but CCSU had gained momentum with the late first half run. After the half, the Blue Devils and Blackbirds exchanged the lead eight times and were tied five times over the final 20 minutes.
Sophomore Kayla Miller, making her first career start, scored the first points of the second half to give CCSU a 26-25 lead. The Blue Devils first of the game, but CCSU was unable to pull away from the Blackbirds any of the times that they pulled in front and never led by more than two-points in the game.
LIU grabbed the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Kelly Robinson with 9:46 left in the game. The free throws gave the Blackbirds a 38-37 lead.
LIU made just seven field goals in the second half, but the Blackbirds were 21-of-24 at the free throw line in the final period. The Blackbirds were 27-of-32 at the line in the game (84.4%).
The Blue Devils went to the foul line just 15 times and connected on nine free throw attempts.
Junior Kaley Watras was the only CCSU player to reach double-digit points. She finished with 10, including seven of CCSU's 27 second half points.
Miller had a solid game with nine points, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal. However, she fouled out and was limited to just 19 minutes.
Seniors Jaleen Thomas and Jessica Babe each had a team-high six rebounds. Babe finished with eight points and five assists, while Thomas had six points and four assists. Both players were credited with three steals in the game.
The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday, Jan. 18, against Fairleigh Dickinson at Detrick Gym. CCSU and FDU will tip-off at 1 p.m.