The Central Connecticut women's basketball team won an important game against the LIU Blackbirds 72-59 in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, Central improves to 7-19 and 4-12 in league play breaking the three-way tie between Central, LIU, and Fairleigh Dickinson for eighth place. CCSU has two more games, one being against FDU, to determine if it will be the final team to make it into the Northeast Conference Tournament. LIU falls to 4-23 on the season and 3-13 in conference.
The Blue Devils opened the game with a 10-2 run, forcing four LIU turnovers in the first quarter. Central pushed in transition getting easy scores from junior Ashley Chin and sophomore Ashley Berube. Seniors Sydney Hines and Kiana Patterson both knocked down shots from beyond the arc giving CCSU a 21-13 lead at the end of the first.
The Blackbirds responded with an 13-4 run to take a 26-25 lead with 4:33 to play in the second quarter. Hines drilled a three on the next possession to regain the lead 28-26. The Blue Devils held the Blackbirds to just three points for the rest of the quarter. With seven seconds on the block, Chin drove baseline shooting over a LIU defender to beat the buzzer giving Central a 40-29 halftime lead.
At the half, Berube led all scorers with 10 points and six rebounds connecting on 4-of-8 from the floor. The team shot 16-35 (.457) and 3-7 (.429) from three-point range. The Blackbirds were 12-33 (.364) from the field, including 3-5 (.600) from deep.
Scoring slowed in the second half, but Central held LIU to just four points by the third quarter media timeout at the 4:57 mark and pushed the lead to as much as 15 (48-33). Patterson carried CCSU, scoring six of the 12 third quarter points.
The Blue Devils entered the final 10 minutes of play with a 52-40 lead. Central connected on its first 4-of-5 shots in the quarter, but a three by LIU's Jeydah Johnson cut the lead to 11 with 7:55 to play. Despite LIU cutting the lead to under 10 points with less than three minutes to play, the Blue Devils went onto win 72-59.
Patterson finished with a total of 23 points, her eighth 20+ point game this season. Berube was one rebound shy of a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Forever Toppin matched her career-high 7 points. Chin also matched her career-high with 10 points. Senior Andi Lydon played a solid all-around game posting 6 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block.
Johnson and Brandy Thomas each finished with 18 points for the Blackbirds. Thomas had a double-double with 11 rebounds.
Central Connecticut hosts Fairleigh Dickinson on Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m. and St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday for senior night.