The Central Connecticut women's basketball team clinched the sixth seed in the 2017 Northeast Conference Tournament after falling short at Bryant Monday, Feb. 27, 70-64. The Blue Devils shot 24-for-59 (40.7%) from the field in the close-knit game that featured nine lead changes and four ties. Freshman Cebria Outlow netted 17 points, and added seven rebounds.
#6 CCSU will travel to Loretto, PA to play the #3 Saint Francis Red Flash on Sunday, March 5 inside Degol Arena at a time TBA. The Blue Devils head into Sunday's quarterfinal match at (9-9 NEC) and (10-19) on the year.
#4 Bryant will host #5 Mount St. Mary's with a record of (11-7 NEC) and (16-13) overall.
Freshman Ashley Chin notched the Blue Devils first points of the game on an offensive put-back from her own shot at the 8:33 mark. The Blue Devils attacked Bryant's man-to-man defense, creating six free throw opportunities, and knocked down five of them to create a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Bulldog sophomore, Haley Connors brought Bryant to within one point with a three-pointer at 6:38, and then gave them a 26-25 lead off a three in transition a few minutes later. Both teams traded baskets for the remainder of the period, until freshman Taylor Goode stole a Bulldog pass with 1.6 seconds on the clock, and drained a running half court shot at the buzzer to put CCSU up 33-31.
Central and Bryant shot an identical 12-for-33 (36.4%) from the field, and made two three's apiece in the first half. Outlow paced the Blue Devils in scoring with eight points at the break.
The Smithfield, Rhode Island squad scored nine straight points to begin the third, up until senior Chayla Lewis put an end to the run with a lay up at 6:57. Bryant connected on 66.7% of its attempts, in its highest scoring quarter of the game, to take a 54-45 lead heading into the fourth.
Despite the adversity of being down nine, on the road, at their opponent's senior night game, the Blue Devils responded with an explosive 11-4 spurt to begin the final quarter of their last regular season game.
Patterson cut the Blue Devil deficit to 64-62 with a jumper with 2:30 on the clock. Epps and Patterson combined for 15 points in the last ten minutes, as the Bulldogs made five three-pointers to close out the match.
Alex Klein scored a game high 23 points to lead Bryant. Patterson chipped in 15 points, and senior Giocelis Reynoso grabbed 11 boards for CCSU.