The Central Connecticut women's basketball team continued playing excellent basketball and defeated LIU Brooklyn 68-54 Monday night in the Steinberg Wellness Center in Brooklyn, NY. The Blue Devils move to 13-8 overall on the season with the win and remain in first place in the Northeast Conference with a league-best record of 9-1. The Blackbirds fall to 6-15 overall and 3-7 in NEC play. Central was led by Senior Kaley Watras and freshman Camden Musgrave who finished with 12 points apiece. The Blue Devils balanced attack saw eight players record six or more points in the game.
Central took a 31-22 lead into halftime after once again closing out the first half on a big run. On Saturday against Wagner, CCSU used a 10-0 run to take a 13 point lead (39-26) into the break after the Seahawks got within three points when the Blue Devils were up big early. Tonight, the Blue Devils were at it again and this time used an 8-0 run over the final three minutes of the half to take a 31-22 edge into intermission after the Blackbirds were within just one point of CCSU.
The Blue Devils used solid defense to account for the lead. They limited the Blackbirds to just 24.1% (7-29) shooting from the floor, including just 16.7% (1-6) shooting from beyond the arc. The first half shooting percentage is the lowest Central has held its opponents to all season in the first half.
Offensively, CCSU shot 44.8% (13-29) from the floor, including 37.5% (3-8) from three in the half. Two of the three three-pointers came from Watras and Musgrave to fuel the 8-0 spurt in the final three minutes for the Blue Devils.
Senior Amanda Harrington scored all eight of her points in the game in the first half to pace CCSU at halftime. She was a perfect four-of-four from the field and added three rebounds and a pair of blocks in the first period.
Central picked up right where they left off with a quick 10-0 run over the first four minutes of the second half. The run gave the Blue Devils their largest lead of the game, 19, 41-22. Combined, the Blue Devils went on an 18-0 run from the end of the first half to the beginning of the second half and they kept the Blackbirds scoreless for seven straight minutes.
LIU would answer with a 9-0 run of their own to cut the Blue Devil lead back down to 10, 41-31, with just over 14 minutes to play in the game. Both teams then traded points over the next eight minutes until the Blackbirds used a quick 9-3 run to pull within seven points, 60-53, with 5:20 to play.
LIU would get no closer, however, as the Central defense would stand up again and forced five LIU turnovers in an 8-1 Blue Devil run over the final five minutes to secure the 68-54 victory for CCSU.
Watras finished the game with 12 points on four-of-six shooting, including three-of-four from downtown. Musgrave also had 12 points on three-of-six shooting, hitting on two-of-four attempts from beyond the arc.
The Blue Devils shot 52.2% (24-46) from the floor in the game, including a season-best 64.7% (11-17) in the second half. They were 45.5% (5-11) from three and 68.2% (15-22) from the free throw line.
CCSU will return to action at home on Saturday afternoon against Mount St. Mary's. The tip is scheduled for 1 p.m.