Second Half Free Throws Send LIU Brooklyn Past Women's Basketball, 68-62, Monday

Second Half Free Throws Send LIU Brooklyn Past Women's Basketball, 68-62, Monday

In an exciting back and forth game that featured six ties and eight leads changes, the Central Connecticut women's basketball team couldn't come back to prevail after a late fourth quarter surge from LIU Brooklyn. The Blue Devils dropped their final contest in the month of January, 62-68, slipping their record to (8-13, 7-3 NEC). The Blackbirds advanced to (4-17, 3-7 NEC).

Back on January 16, Central made 27-of-29 foul shots that proved to be the difference maker in the Blue Devils, 76-71, victory over LIU. In a similar fashion, the Blackbirds capitalized on 17-of-21 free throws in the second half, compared to CCSU's 4-of-12 makes from the stripe. Central shot 38.3% (23-60) from the field, and LIU made 22-of-58 (37.9%) shots on the night.

Fellow seniors Giocelis Reynoso and Aleah Epps both tallied 18 points apiece, and Reynoso grabbed 12 rebounds for her fifth double-double this season. Three players from LIU scored in double-figures, led by Dionne Coe with 18 points including 3-of-3 from behind the arc.  

LIU jumped out to an 8-0 in the opening minute of play, forcing head coach Beryl Piper to call a time out. The Blackbirds extended their run to 13-0, before Epps finally found the back of the net at 6:18, with five straight points for CCSU. Despite the hot start, LIU Brooklyn went cold from the floor for the final six and a half minutes of the period. 

Reynoso helped Central its first lead of the game with an old-fashioned three-point play off of a feed from freshman Cebria Outlow. Sophomore Sydney Hines capped off a responsive 17-0, with a transition lay up, that put LIU behind 17-13 at the end of the first quarter.

LIU spent most of the second quarter chipping away at the Blue Devils lead to take control 25-23 with 5:18 left off of a pair of Deangelique Waithe free throws. Central showed resilence once again, and went on a 10-2 spurt, that started with Epps' second trifecta with 4:55 on the game clock.

Central Connecticut shot 38.7%, and out-scored the Blackbird bench 22-14, through the first 20 minutes of action. Reynoso led all scorers with 12 points, and LIU trailed 33-27 at the break.

Out of the halftime gate, LIU's Dionne Coe connected on back-to-back three-pointers, sparking the Brooklyn squad offense in the third. Seneca Richards sank two foul shots with 2:13 to go to give LIU a 46-44 lead. Rookie Taylor Goode came off the bench to drain a deep three two possessions later, and sophomore Kiana Patterson finangled in a turn-around jumper at the third quarter buzzer to steal the momentum back.

Tied at 50-50, the Blackbirds ran off of an 8-2 run, through the initial seven minutes of the fourth. Reynoso recorded her 18th points and CCSU's first field goal of the quarter to bring the Blue Devils to within four points with 2:30 left in regulation. After a long dispute on a Central flagrant foul, LIU made 1-of-2 foul shots, and Dove converted a three-point play on the extra possession.

The eight point deficit was too much for Central to overcome in the final minute of Monday night's contest. LIU Brooklyn out-rebounded the NEC's top rebounding squad, 44-36, led by 10 from Aja Boyd.

The Central Connecticut women's basketball team will next journey on a four-game road series, playing first at Mount St. Mary's on Saturday, February 4 at 1:00 p.m in Emmitsburg, MD.