The Central Connecticut women's basketball team won their seventh-straight game and defeated Mount St. Mary's 60-49 on Saturday afternoon to improve to 14-8 overall and a league-best 10-1 in the Northeast Conference. The Mount falls to 7-15 and 5-6 in NEC play. The Blue Devils were led by junior TeJahne Malone who recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The game was tied, 25-25, at halftime as both teams struggled shooting from the floor in the half. The Blue Devils shot just 32.0% (8-25) from the floor before the break and the Mount was slightly better shooting 34.5% (10-29) entering the intermission.
The Mountaineers got off to a quick start in the game and opened with a 7-0 run after the tip. They connected on their first three-straight possessions to take the quick 7-0 lead.
The Blue Devils answered, however, with a 10-0 run of their own to take their first lead of the game, 19-17, at the 6:23 mark. The run kept the Mount scoreless for two and a half minutes and was fueled by senior Kaley Watras who sunk seven-straight points.
Both teams traded baskets over the remaining five minutes of the first half, with the lead changing hands twice, until the Mount's Jayla Leftwich connected for a layup to tie the game at 25-25 heading into locker room.
Junior TeJahne Malone led the way for Central, recording her fifth double-double of the season before the half, with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Watras was right behind her with nine.
In the second stanza, the Mountaineers began with another quick start and jumped out to a five point lead, 36-31, after a three from Jaqueline Brewer with 15:50 left in the game. The lead was the largest for the Mount of the second half.
Central would answer again with a huge 15-3 run over the course of the next six and a half minutes to retake the lead 46-39. Central would never trail in the game again.
The Mount threatened with a late 7-0 run to pull within three with 2:30 to play, but CCSU connected on six-of-six free throw attempts to seal the victory and remain in first place in the NEC.
Malone finished with her fifth double-double and second against the Mount this season with 18 points and 14 rebounds. She was six-of-10 shooting from the floor, including hitting on the first three-pointer of her career. She was also a perfect five-of-five from the charity stripe.
Watras finished with 16 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists. The guard came off the bench and shot extremely well, connecting on six-of-nine from the floor, including two-of-two from beyond the arc.
The Blue Devils shot much better in the second half, shooting 59.1% (13-22) from the floor to finish the game at 44.7% (21-47). They finished 38.5% (5-13) from distance and were perfect from the free throw line (13-13).
Central held the Mount to 33.3% (18-54) shooting. That marks the ninth time the Blue Devils have held NEC opponents under 40% this season. CCSU is undefeated (9-0) in those games.
The Blue Devils also dominated the glass in the game, out-rebounding the Mountaineers 42-23.
Central will return to action on Monday night against Saint Francis U at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.