The Central Connecticut women's basketball team took down the Terriers of St. Francis Brooklyn, 61-53, on Saturday, Dec. 31. The Blue Devils connected on eight three-pointers, on 40.0% shooting, six of them coming from sophomore Kiana Patterson who sank a career high 20 points. CCSU shot a season best 89.5% from the charity stripe, making 17 out of 19 of its attempts. Senior Aleah Epps distributed a season best six assists, and added 13 points and six rebounds in the win.
CCSU improves to (2-0) and St. Francis falls to (1-1) in the Northeast Conference, and moves both of their overall records to (3-10).
The Blue Devils won the opening New Year's Eve tip, resulting in a quick three from a wide open Patterson. The sophomore connected two more three's in the quarter, helping the Blue Devils to a 50.0% shooting effort from downtown to start the game.
Despite St. Francis's Olivia Levey being a tough presence in the post, tallying 10 points in the quarter, the Terriers trailed by one, 16-15, heading into the second period.
Sophomore Andi Lydon found Patterson with 4:46 before the break who drained her fourth triple of the half. The Terriers took a 23-21 lead at the 5:04 mark, until Lydon found the back of the net on a post move to tie up the score again. After a series of dead ball fouls, Epps connected on two free throws, and forced St. Francis to turn the ball in the last 30 seconds, to head into the locker room up by one, 25-24.
Central shot 44.0% in the first half from three-point range, as SFBK only connected on 1-of-8 (10.0%).
Lydon knocked on a three of her out of the halftime gate, and forced and took an offensive charge on the following St. Francis possession. The Terriers responded with back-to-back three's from Rachel Iozzia and Alex Delaney. The teams traded baskets in an exciting fashion, matching each other in scoring, 22-22, with CCSU shooting 50.0% from the field, including 75.0% from three at the end of the third quarter.
St. Francis was forced into calling a timeout early in the fourth quarter, after Central Connecticut exploded on an 11-0 run. In the stretch, Epps tallied three assists and a jumper in the lane, and Patterson drained her sixth basket from behind the arc. Palarino stopped the bleeding with 4:27 left in the game on a made jumper, but the Blue Devils out-scored the Terriers 14-7 in total during the fourth to seal the victory.
CCSU out rebounded the Brooklyn squad 44-35, led by freshman Cebria Outlow (8). Lydon was a perfect 2-2 from three, and 4-4 from the free throw line, netting 14 points and added six rebounds. Levey carried the Terriers with 17 points, and eight boards and Alex Delaney put up 11 and six rebounds. SFBK shot 33.3% from the floor, and the Central defense limited them to 6-of-26 (23.1%) shooting from behind the arc.
The Central Connecticut women's basketball team will return home after the new year with two home matches scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 7, and Monday, Jan. 9. On Saturday, fellow Connecticut team, Sacred Heart, will visit the Blue Devils for a 1:00 p.m. tip off. Mount St. Mary's will then challenge Central two days later on Monday at 7:00 p.m.