The Central Connecticut women's basketball team could not overcome two large Mount St. Mary's second half runs, falling, 66-81 on the road Saturday. The Mountaineers shot 46.4% compared to 29.0% by CCSU in the second half. Senior Aleah Epps scored a game-high 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out six assists in her fourth double-double this season.
CCSU falls to (8-14) on the year, and (7-4) in the conference, while Mount St. Mary's moves up to (7-15) and (5-6) against NEC opponents. Central connected on 21-of-55 shots (38.2%), and the Mount made 27-of-60 (45.0%) from the field.
In the opening five minutes of play, senior Chayla Lewis scored six points off of a pair of offensive put-backs, and a short-corner jumper. Despite shooting 50.0% from the floor, CCSU gave the ball up six times in the first. After 10 minutes of Saturday Northeast Conference women's basketball action, the Blue Devils trailed by one, 17-16.
Sophomore Sydney Hines drained her second three of the second quarter at 4:14, followed by six straight points from Epps, including an "and-one" lay-in and a trifecta of her own. An 11-0 Blue Devil run built a nine point lead, that was finally stopped on a Mount St. Mary's Alexis Carter free throw.
The Mount pulled themselves back into the match, cutting CCSU's lead to two points with 12.0 seconds to go, when sophomore Andi Lydon had the ball stripped away by Carter under Mount's basket, who finished the play with a lay up. Freshman Ashley Chin was fouled on a last second three-pointer, and converted 1-of-3 attempts to give Central a 39-36 lead heading into locker room.
Both squads had a offensive field day in the first half, with the Blue Devils shooting 50.0% (12-for-24) and the Moutaineers netting 43.8% (14-of-32) field goals. Epps recorded 10 points, six boards, and four assists in the first 20 minutes of the game.
The Mountaineers began the third quarter on a 12-4 run to take take their first lead since the 4:02 mark in the first period. CCSU went 0-for-6 from behind the arc, and the Mount out-scored the New Britain squad 21-to-11 heading into the fourth.
Central allowed Mount St. Mary's to begin the final quarter on an 11-4 run that created a 12-point deficit to overcome. Baskets from senior Giocelis Reynoso and Epps built a 5-0 with 4:30 left in regulation, however CCSU couldn't capitalize on the spurt any further.
Lydon and sophomore Kiana Patterson both chipped in 10 apiece, and Lewis pulled down seven rebounds, tying her career high, and scored eight points. Six players scored in double-figures for the Mountaineers led by Mikal Johnson with 16 points.
The Central Connecticut women's basketball team will travel straight to Staten Island, NY to take on the Wagner Seahawks on Monday night at 7:00 p.m.