In a game that featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes, Saint Francis U snuck by Central Connecticut, 72-70, Monday afternoon inside Detrick Gymnasium in New Britain, CT. Central's bench out-scored the Red Flash's 22-2, and the Blue Devils dominated the glass, 54-to-32. Central diminished SFU's largest lead of the game, 10 points, with 3:31 left in the game to go on a 9-0 run, but was unable to pull out the victory in the final possessions.
Freshman Cebria Outlow led CCSU with a career high 21 points in her first start since Dec. 31 at St. Francis Brooklyn, due to an injured sophomore Andi Lydon out of the lineup. Senior Chayla Lewis grabbed two career highs with 10 rebounds and four assists.
Monday's match moves Central's record to (9-18) and (8-8) in the conference, while Saint Francis U. goes to (14-13), and (11-5) in the NEC.
Saint Francis struggled from the get-go, making just 1-of-12 from the field, and 0-for-5 from three to start the game, as Central jumped out to a 10-3 lead. The Red Flash responded with a 7-0 run of their own, and tied up the score at 14-all at the end of the first quarter.
Outlow connected on one of her three trifectas on the first possession of second quarter, and the Red Flash connected on six three-pointers despite the slow start. Central Connecticut shot 38.2% (13-of-34) and SFU made 13-of-41(31.7%) of its field goal attempts.
Outlow led the Blue Devils with 11 points, and senior Giocelis Reynoso reeled in seven first half rebounds. At the break, CCSU trailed by four, 36-39.
On a broken play early in the third, sophomore Kiana Patterson hit a three to bring the Blue Devils to within five points to Saint Francis heading into the final period. To begin the fourth, Patterson drained two three's, the first at 9:20, and the second at 7:14, to score the first six points of the quarter for CCSU.
Courtney Zezza and Jessica Kovatch answered Patterson with two strikes from downtown themselves, keeping the lead at 66-57. Outlow made a lay up with 3:11, sparking a 9-0 fourth quarter Blue Devil run.
In the stretch, senior Aleah Epps, who had been quiet from the floor with only four points, stripped Katie Reese of the ball at halfcourt and finished the play on the other end with 1:55 left. Epps found Hines on the proceeding possession for a three-pointer at 1:25 that pulled CCSU to within one, 71-70. However, two turnovers in CCSU's last chance opportunities prevailed SFU for the win.
Four players for the Red Flash scored in double-figures, led by Jessica Kovatch with 24 points. Katie Reese followed with 19 points and eight rebounds. Patterson chipped in 11 points, and Epps and Reynoso both pulled down nine rebounds for Central.
The women's basketball team will host St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in its last home game of the 2016-17 regular season. Seniors Aleah Epps, Chayla Lewis, and Giocelis Reynoso will be recognized for their Blue Devil career prior to tipoff Saturday.