Johnson's Career Night Guides Central Past St. Francis Brooklyn 83-77 in OT

Johnson's Career Night Guides Central Past St. Francis Brooklyn 83-77 in OT

The Central Connecticut women's basketball team won in dramatic fashion on Friday night in Brooklyn, NY over St. Francis Brooklyn in overtime. Senior Morgan Johnson hit the game's most important three-pointer with the game tied at 70-70 with 3:36 left in the extra period that ignited a 7-0 Blue Devil run that held strong topped the Terriers 83-77.

Johnson finished the night with a career-high 18 points including a career-high six three-pointers to lead five players in double figures for CCSU. The last time Central saw five players in double-figure scoring dates back to December 12, 2015 against UMass (Epps, Musgrave, Malone, Miller, Stroyan). The Blue Devils knocked down a season-high 13 three-pointers (13-25, .520) and posted their best overall shooting percentage of the season, 48.2 percent (27-56) as they advanced to 7-10 in the NEC.

St. Francis Brooklyn drops to 8-9 in the league and 12-16 on the year.

The Blue Devils knocked down three of its first four three-point attempts to take a 9-2 early lead on St. Francis Brooklyn. CCSU held the Terriers scoreless from the field in the first quarter, collecting their points on four foul shots.

Central knocked down five three-pointers in the quarter (5-for-10) helping them build a 17-4 lead.

Maria Palarino took off on an 8-0 individual run including two three-pointers to start the second quarter and cut the lead down to 17-12. Four straight free throws and a long jumper from junior Kiana Patterson built the lead back up to 11 points, 25-14 with 4:46 to go.

Excellent ball movement on the final possession of the first half, allowed freshman Emma McCamus to find junior Sydney Hines at the top of the key for Centrals fifth three-pointer at the buzzer to give CCSU a 33-20 lead at the intermission.

CCSU shot 11-for-28 (.393) compared to SFBK's 5-of-24 (.208) performance from the floor. Six different players got in the scoring column in the opening 20 minutes in a well-balanced scoring attack.

The Terriers found their offense in the second half and shot 53.8 percent from the floor in the third quarter, but a tireless effort from the Blue Devils kept the lead at 53-39 heading into the fourth quarter.

St. Francis out scored the Blue Devils 20-10 to open the final period and cut what was once a 20-point lead with 7:50 to go in the third quarter, down to four points, 63-59, with 4:11 to go in the game.

With two minutes to go, the Terrier's hit a pair of free throws and pulled themselves to within two points, 67-65 with 1:46 to go on a three-pointer from Abby Anderson. Following a missed jumper from junior Andi Lydon, Maria Palarino got fouled on an offensive rebound put-back and sank both free throws to tie the game at 67-67 with 3.4 seconds left.

Patterson got off a corner three that rimmed out sending the game to overtime.

CCSU out-scored the Terriers 16-10 in OT to conclude the contest. Lydon finished the game with her third double-double of the year, posting 15 points and 13 rebounds, as well as a career high seven assists. Patterson had a tremendous night with 17 points and six assists.

McCamus also clocked in a new career high with 15 points. Palarino finished the night with a game-high 25 points to lead four Terriers in double-figures.

The Central Connecticut women's basketball team will play LIU Brooklyn on Sunday, March 4 at 2:00 p.m. inside of Steinberg Wellness Center.