The Central Connecticut women's basketball team's perfect conference record was halted on Saturday as they fell to St. Francis University, 87-81, inside Degol Arena. Sophomore Andi Lydon scored a career high 29 points and added 14 rebounds. Senior Giocelis Reynoso also grabbed a career high 20 rebounds and five blocked shots, adding 10 points in her fourth double-double this season.
Central shot 40.0% (30-for-75) from the field, and St. Francis made 33-of-83 (39.8%) of its attempts. The Blue Devils out rebounded the Red Flash by a 15-point margin, 59-41. CCSU falls to 7-11 overall, and 6-1 in the NEC. St. Francis move on to 9-9 for the season, and is also 6-1 in the league.
The Blue Devil defense forced the NEC's leading scorer, Jessica Kovatch, into taking three tough shots to start the game, as they began Saturday's contest on a 9-2 run. Sophomore Kiana Patterson came out on fire from the floor, tallying 12 points in the quarter on 5-of-6 shooting, including two three-pointers.
Kovatch did not stay quiet long, scoring nine straight points for the Red Flash in the final three minutes of the period cut the CCSU lead to six points, 26-20, at the end of one.
St. Francis ignited on a 17-2 run to start the second quarter. SFU switched the momentum and took its first lead at 6:36 from a Mya Wynn three-pointer. During the Red Flash run, they forced Centrla to turn the ball over 12 times. Lydon put an end to the 5:00 minute CCSU scoring drought with a bank-shot outside the lane with 4:38 to go, making the score 39-30.
Freshman Taylor Goode provided a spark off of the bench for Central, finding Patterson for back-to-back transition baskets in the final minute before the half. At the break, St. Francis lead 45-40, and Kovatch notched 22 points on 17 attempts.
The Blue Devils out-rebounded the Loretto squad 26-22, and shot 48.6 percent from the field. Patterson converted a stifling 7-of-10 of her shot attempts, totaling 16 points for CCSU.
CCSU began the third quarter on a 10-5 run, including five straight points from Lydon to give the Blue Devils its first lead, 50-49, at 7:31. Senior Giocelis Reynoso found Lydon spotted up in the corner with 3:04 on clock for three. The sophomore tallied 13 points, and Central Connecticut trailed, 68-67, heading into the final quarter.
At 7:20 in the fourth freshman Ashley Chin found Lydon for her fourth three-pointer of the game. However, Kovatch connected three consecutive shots from downtown give SFU an eight point lead with four minutes to go.
Down by five with 1:50 left, and their six-game win streak on the line, Pennsylvania native, Lydon drained a jumpshot to make it a one possession game, and sank two free throws making the score, 82-81. Kovatch would then seal the victory with her ninth three of the game.
Kovatch had a career high 45 points, and SFU shot from the field. Courtney Zezza contributed 17 points and 11 boards for the Red Flash. Central's Patterson ended with 16 points, and Epps tallied 14 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, marking her third double-double this year.
CCSU will travel to Moon Township, P.A. next to take on the Robert Morris Colonials Monday night at 7:00 p.m.