The Central Connecticut women's basketball team snapped a two-game Sacred Heart win streak on Saturday 69-59 in its best overall team performance of the year. The Blue Devils were on fire from the floor, draining 24-of-54 (.444) including a 9-for-19 (.474) effort from behind the arc. CCSU out-rebounded the Pioneers 45-29 and out-scored their bench 24-0 en route to advancing to 2-2 in Northeast Conference play.
Sacred Heart (6-10, 2-3 NEC) shot 32.2 percent from the field and was only 5-of-21 (.238) from three-point range.
CCSU junior Kiana Patterson scored 20 of her game-high 23 points in the second half and chipped in three assists to lead the Blue Devils. Patterson was lights out on the offense end shooting 5-of-11, 4-of-7 from three, and 9-of-10 from the foul line. The co-captain calmly sank 7-of-8 free throws down the fourth quarter stretch to seal the win for CCSU. Freshman Emma McCamus scored 10 points.
Back-to-back three's from senior Morgan Johnson and McCamus sparked an 8-0 CCSU run and took a 10-4 lead with 3:52 to go in the first quarter. The rookie from Cavan, Ontario proceeded to knock down another triple and convert the old-fashioned three-point play to score nine points in the opening period.
Central held an 18-16 edge heading into the second quarter.
Junior Andi Lydon started the second quarter with a three-pointer and would then score seven points in the quarter to grow the Blue Devils' largest lead of the first half (eight points) 34-26 with .54 seconds left before the halftime break.
Central Connecticut ended the first 20 minutes of action ahead by six points, 34-28, its largest halftime lead of the season. CCSU out-shot and out-rebounded Sacred Heart in the first half, shooting .452 from the floor and .417 from three. The Pioneers were held to 10-of-33 (.303) shooting and struggled from downtown, making just 1-of-11 (.091).
Midway through the third quarter Patterson, confidently knocked down two three-pointers at the 6:02 and 4:49 marks and then drained a pair of free -throws to extend CCSU's lead to the largest of the game of 11 points at 44-35.
With 4.4 seconds on the clock, junior Sydney Hines inbounded the ball on the far sideline to Patterson who went right back to Hines for a buzzer-beater three to give CCSU a 49-36 lead heading into the final period.
Sacred Heart's leading scorer, Katherine Haines struck the back of the net first in the fourth, leading to a 4-0 Pioneers run that was snuffed by CCSU's ninth three-pointer of the game. Junior Sydney Hines made three pivotal plays to help the Blue Devils take a 16-point lead late in the fourth, including a three-pointer, a drop-pass to freshman Ashley Berube for a lay-in and took an offensive charge on a Pioneer fast break.
SHU would not go down without a fight as they out-scored Central 14-8 in the final two minutes of the game cutting the deficit to single-digits (seven) of Northeast Conference women's basketball action.
Sacred Heart had three players score in double figures paced by Katherine Haines with 19 points.
Berube had her best all-around performance of the year with a game-high nine rebounds, eight points and four blocks.
The Blue Devils will next travel to Teaneck, NJ to face the Fairleigh Dickinson on Monday, January 15 at 5:00 p.m.