by Kimberly Pena
The lady Blue Devils hot streak came to an end with a crushing 87-81 loss to St. Francis University, snapping their six-game winning streak. The lost tainted Central Connecticut’s perfect North East Conference play record to 6-1. The Blue Devils’ season record now stands at 7-11.
The Blue Devils started the game on a hot start with a 9-2 run. Sophomore Kiana Patterson was in part responsible for the first good quarter as she scored 12 points and was 5-of-6 shooting, which included 2 three-pointers. The Blue Devils ended the quarter with a 26-20 lead after the Red Flash scored 9 straight points in the last three minutes of the first quarter. All points came from NEC’s scoring leader Jessica Kovatch.
The momentum would remain with the Red Flash as they began the second quarter on a 17-2 run. About seven minutes into the second quarter, the Red Flash would take its first lead of the game from a three-pointer by Mya Wynn.
The Blue Devils did not help their own cause as they turned over the ball 12 times. Sophomore Andi Lydon tried to give life back to the Blue Devils with a bank-shot which ended a five-minute scoring drought and cutting the lead to 39-30 with 4:38 to go.
Freshman Taylor Goode came off the bench to continue to bring the sparks of life to Central. She connected with Patterson for back-to-back transition shots in the final minutes before the half to bring down the lead 45-40. Kovatch ended the first quarter with 22 points.
The Blue Devils opened up the second half with another hot run of their own, going 10-5. This included 5 straight shots from Lydon to help Central regain the lead 50-49. But the Red Flash found their groove once again to head into the fourth quarter with a 68-67 lead over Central.
With a little over seven minutes into the final quarter, freshman Ashley Chin connected to Lydon for a three-pointer, Lydon’s fourth three-pointer of the quarter of the game. But the red-hot Kovatch scored 3 consecutive shots to give SFU an 8-point lead with less than five minutes left in the quarter.
With less than two minutes in the game and the streak on the line, Lydon scored a jump shot to make it a one possession game, and dropped in 2 free throws, making the score 82-81. But Kovatch would not allow it as she scored her ninth three-pointer of the game to end the ladies’ winning streak.
Kovatch finished the game with a whopping 45 points, a career high. Lydon also finished the game with a career high 29 points and had 14 rebounds. Central’s own Giocelis Reynoso finished the game with 20 rebounds and added 5 blocked shots and Aleah Epps led with 6 assists.
Central shot 30-for-75 from the field compared to SFU who made 33-of-83 of its attempts. The Blue Devils out-rebounded SFU 59-41 and had more assists, 16-14. But the Blue Devils turned over the ball 21 times compared to Red Flash who turned over the ball 10 times.
The Blue Devils look to go on another win streak when they face Bryant University on their home turf Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1 p.m.