The Central Connecticut women's basketball team out-rebounded the leagues preseason favorite, the Sacred Heart Pioneers, 46-31, in its third straight victory. The Blue Devils led for 28:56 minutes of the game as they topped SHU, 67-50, on Saturday, Jan. 7 inside Detrick Gymnasium. Nine different players scored in the team's win, including a career-high 10 points from freshman Ashley Chin, who earned her first start since Dec. 11, 2016 against Stony Brook.
Senior Aleah Epps scored her second double-double of the year, with 15 points/11 rebounds, and also dished out seven assists. Sophomore Andi Lydon pulled down 12 rebounds and chipped in eight points. Central went 25-for-56 (44.6%) from the floor, making 5-of-12 (41.7%) three pointers for the game.
With the win, Central stands at number one and the only undefeated team (3-0) left in the Northeast Conference standings, increasing their overall record to (4-10). Sacred Heart falls to (5-9) and (2-1) in the NEC.
Senior Giocelis Reynoso put the Blue Devils on the board first at the 8:33 mark after sinking a baby hook in the lane. Epps penetrated the middle of SHU's defense sinking a jumpshot to tie the game at 5-5. Hannah Kimmel connected on her second three pointer of the quarter on the following possession, but was quickly answered by a Reynoso lay up in transition at 4:09.
In the final minute of the opening quarter, CCSU tied the game at 11-all with back-to-back baskets from sophomore Sydney Hines and senior Chayla Lewis. However, six points from Kelcey Castro put the Pioneers up, 14-17, heading into the second quarter.
Rookie, Ashley Chin, went on a 4-0 individual run to start the second quarter, to give Central its first lead at, 18-17, with 6:22 on the clock, forcing SHU to call a timeout. Central built its largest lead of the first half, 25-19, after junior Brianna Jacobs hit a three, and Taylor Goode made a lay up and forced two Pioneer turnovers, as a spark off of the bench for CCSU.
Hines tallied another five points to finish the quarter, giving the Blue Devils a six-point advantage, 30-24, heading into the halftime locker room. Kelcey Castro carried the Pioneers in the first half with 12 points, but they collectively shot only 28.1% from the field.
Lydon pulled down eight rebounds, and eight players scored for CCSU, shooting an overall 39.4%.
CCSU out-scored Sacred Heart 13-9 to open the third, to open up a double-digit lead, 43-33. Epps drove past multiple Pioneer defenders to put in a tough basket with :04 on the clock, keeping an 11-point margin heading into the final 10 minutes of the game.
After trading baskets for the first part of the final period, Katherine Haines cut the lead to eight with five minutes to go, but not before the Blue Devils went on a 9-1 run, holding the Pioneers to just 3-of-16 (18.8%) shooting, to close out the victory. Kather Haines led Sacred Heart with 15 points and six boards.
Central Connecticut women's basketball will return to its home floor on Monday, Jan. 9 as they host Mount St. Mary's at 7:00 p.m.