The Central Connecticut women's basketball team used a huge second half to defeat the Saint Francis U Red Flash 72-59 on Monday night in the Blue Devils final regular season home game in Detrick Gym. The Blue Devils improve to 17-10 overall and 13-3 in the NEC with the win. The Red Flash fall to 5-22 on the season and 4-12 in NEC play.
The Blue Devils outscored the Red Flash 41-23 in the second half and overcame as much as a 12 point deficit to earn the victory.
The victory also gives the Blue Devils an undefeated, 9-0, mark at home against NEC competition, defeating every NEC school that entered Detrick Gym this year in the regular season.
With the victory, the Blue Devils remain in a tie for first place in the Northeast Conference standings, but now with just the Bryant Bulldogs at 13-3. The 13 wins in NEC play also marks the most conference wins in program history for the Blue Devils.
The Red Flash led the Blue Devils 36-31 at the end of the first half behind 22 first half points from senior guard Alexa Hayward.
SFU jumped out to an early 12 point lead, 24-12, with 8:50 remaining before the intermission. The lead would be the largest of the half for the Red Flash as the Blue Devils used a quick 9-0 run over the next two and a half minutes to cut the lead to just three, 24-21 with 5:33 to play in the half.
Hayward then went on to hit three triples in the next three-straight Saint Francis U possessions to extend their lead back to 10, 33-23 with 3:30 left before the break.
The Blue Devils would respond, however, and went on an 8-3 run to close out the half to trail by just five, 36-31 heading into the locker room.
Junior Kayla Miller led the Blue Devils at the break with eight points on a perfect three-of-three shooting from the floor and hit two-of-two free throw attempts at the line.
In the second half, it was all Blue Devils. Central opened the second stanza outscoring Saint Francis 12-6 over the first nine minutes of the half to take its first lead of the game, 43-42, since they scored the opening bucket of the contest.
The Blue Devils then exploded for a huge 19-4 run over the next eight minutes of the game to increase their lead to the largest of the game,16 (62-46), with just under three minutes left in regulation. Malone had 10 points during the run and freshman Camden Musgrave added six on two clutch three pointers for the Blue Devils.
The big run solidified the victory for CCSU and the Red Flash were unable to get any closer than 13 points for the remainder of the game as final buzzer sounded with the Blue Devils on top 72-59.
Four Blue Devils finished in double-figures on the night. Malone led the team with 18 followed by Musgrave with 16. Miller finished with 14 and sophomore Aleah Epps added 10.
The Blue Devils will complete their regular season schedule next weekend with two games on the road. They will first travel to play Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday at 2 p.m. and then face-off against Bryant on Monday at 7 p.m.