The Central Connecticut women's basketball team will play Mount St. Mary's at 7 p.m. on Monday night in the Northeast Conference women's basketball game of the week. The Blue Devils (9-10, 3-6 NEC) and Mountaineers (10-11, 5-4 NEC) will tip-off at 7:06 p.m. on ESPN3.com. Veteran NEC play-by-play man Paul Dottino will be on the call with Pam Roecker providing analysis and commentary.
Here are some notes on the Blue Devils heading into Monday night.
Today • The Blue Devils (9-10, 3-6 NEC) visit the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers (10-11, 5-4 NEC) as these two teams square off for the second straight Monday. The second half of the Northeast Conference schedule kicks off tonight and the Blue Devils and Mountaineers are the center of attention as the ESPN3.com game of the week. This is the Blue Devils only appearance in the NEC television package this season.
9 Up, 9 Down • At the midway point in the 18 game Northeast Conference schedule the Blue Devils are looking for a turnaround. CCSU has slipped to 3-6 in NEC action and is currently tied with Wagner for seventh in the standings. However, the NEC standings are packed with six teams separated by three games in places three-eight.
Series History • The Mount holds a 20-10 advantage in the all-time Division I series between these programs. The Mountaineer's earned a 64-62 victory over the Blue Devils last Monday night in New Britain. Under head coach Beryl Piper the Blue Devils are 6-4 against the Mount, but just 2-2 at Knott Arena. The Mountaineers won last years meeting at Knott 50-48.
Tough Stretch • Saturday's game at St. Francis Brooklyn started a run of five road games in a six game stretch. The Blue Devils next six games will be in Brooklyn (NY), Emmitsburg (MD), Smithfield (RI), New Britain (CT), Pittsburgh (PA) and Lorretto (PA). The Blue Devils are also facing difficult competition during this stretch, as four of their next five opponents are Mount (T-5th), Bryant (T-3rd), Robert Morris (1st) and Saint Francis U (T-3rd). The exception is the LIU (9th) Blackbirds who visit New Britain on Feb. 10. However, the Blue Devils do close with three of four games at home and the lone road game in that stretch is a trip to Fairleigh Dickinson on March 1.
Academic All-District • Senior Jessica Babe was named to the CoSida Capital One Academic All-District First Team on Thursday. Babe was one of five players named to the first team for District I, which includes institutions from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York.
CCSU-Mount Always Exciting • Over the last two seasons the Blue Devils and Mountaineers have played three times with each game being decided by four points or less. The last two meetings have been decided by two points, with the Mount winning 64-62 last Monday and 50-48 at Knott Arena last February. CCSU earned a 77-73 overtime victory against the Mount at Detrick Gym last January. In addition to being close, the games have also featured wild comebacks. The Mount erased a 15-point deficit last Monday and the Blue Devils almost erased an 18-point deficit with a 16-0 run to close the game at Knott Arena last February.
Double-Digit Victories • A win tonight over Mount St. Mary's would give the Blue Devils 10 or more victories in six straight seasons. It would be the first six-year run of double-digit win totals in the history of CCSU women's basketball. Last year's 16 wins gave the Blue Devils five straight double-digit win seasons for the first time in the Division I era. The program also had a five-year run at the Division II level between 1975 and 1980.
Quick Facts • The Blue Devils are 6-1 when scoring 70+ points this season • The Blue Devils are 7-0 when leading with two minutes left to in regulation • Senior Jessica Babe will be making her 75th career start tonight • This will be head coach Beryl Piper's 200th game at the helm of the Blue Devils •
Climbing the Career List • Senior Jessica Babe - already third on the CCSU career steals list at 213 - passed Sethe Thompson (343) for fourth on the career assist list on Monday. With 345 career assists, Babe is 48 shy of the all-time CCSU record of 393 by Nikki Flocco.
In Overtime • Head Coach Beryl Piper has been very successful in overtime with a career record of 11-4 after Saturday's victory over St. Francis BK. The Blue Devils are 1-1 in OT games this season after posting a 4-1 record in extra time last year.
First Half vs. Second Half • The Blue Devils have outscored their opponents 292-233 in the first half of their nine victories this season and have outscored the competition 304-291 in the first half of their nine losses. The difference in the games comes in the second half where CCSU has been outscored 405-278 in its losses. CCSU holds a 333-305 advantage in the second half of its nine wins this season.
Wins vs. Losses • In their nine wins this season the Blue Devils have shot 43.7% from the field and 40.5% from behind the three-point arc. However in losses the Blue Devils have shot just 35.1% and 24.2% from behind the arc. The Blue Devils other per game statistical averages are very similar between their wins and losses, for example CCSU's rebounding (Wins: 42.2, Losses: 41.7) and turnovers (Wins: 17.8, Losses: 18.3).
Streaks • Junior Kaley Watras has recorded a steal in 15 straight games, which is currently the longest streak on the team. • Senior Jessica Babe is the only player to score in every CCSU game this season • Senior Lauren Arbogast has scored in every game in which she has played, but she missed three games early this season • Senior Jessica Babe has played a team-high 642 minutes, which is 129 more minutes of action than any other player on the team.
Balanced Attack • Head Coach Beryl Piper's deep bench is allowing multiple players to see extended minutes. Senior Jessica Babe leads the group at 33.8 minutes per game, but she is one of seven players that average 18 minutes or more per contest. Nine different players are averaging 10+ minutes this season for CCSU.
Winning with Watras • In CCSU's nine wins this season junior Kaley Watras is averaging 11.0 points per game compared to 8.1 in Blue Devil losses. However the big difference in her shooting percentage. Watras has 51.5% from the field and 52.4% from three in the victories and just 31.4% and 35.1% in the losses. However, Watras does have a better free throw percentage in losses.