by Kyle Flynn
The Central Connecticut State Women’s basketball team started off their new campaign against big-conference opponents with match-ups at West Virginia University and the University of Virginia.
The 2017-18 edition of the squad welcomes six new arrivals to accompany the six returning players from last season’s group. The roster features two seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. Junior Kiana Patterson and Senior Brianna Jacobs will be this season’s team captains.
In their first match-up of the new season against 13th ranked West Virginia, Central quickly got off on the wrong foot. The Blue Devils only attempted 12 shots in the first quarter of the game, making just five of them while turning the ball over seven times. Zero steals and zero offensive rebounds kept the advantage in the Mountaineers’ favor.
West Virginia shot 13-25 in the quarter and did not turn the ball over once. Seven offensive boards kept possessions alive, and WVU took full advantage as they finished the first quarter of the game with a 30-13 lead.
The rest of the game was better defensively for the Blue Devils, as they slowed the scoring pace of the Mountaineers down by three points each quarter. The problem was that the Mountaineers were consistently locking down the Blue Devils.
In the second quarter, CCSU shot 27 percent from the field while the Mountaineers hit 58 percent of the shots they took in the period, getting everything they wanted and more. Central did manage to hit 6-7 at the free throw stripe to keep their pace at 13 points scored per quarter.
The second half of the game was more of the same for the Blue Devils. The last three quarters almost mirrored each other as the Blue Devils shot 27 percent from the field in each. The first quarter looked to be their best of the game and yet, they were still outscored by 17. The Blue Devils fell in their first game of the season, 102-52. Kiana Patterson led the way with 14 points.
The second matchup of the season came this time in Charlottesville, Virginia. The only difference in the two games was the defensive consistency from the opposition. Both teams played great defense throughout the games, but the University of Virginia defense was not as consistent in each quarter of the game. For example, in quarter two, the Blue Devils shot 50 percent, something they never did against WVU.
Yet in the third quarter, CCSU shot a whopping 9 percent making just one of 11 shots, turning the ball over nine times and scoring just seven points. The shooting percentages from the Blue Devils in each quarter were 25, 50, 9 and 41. CCSU turned the ball over 22 times to UVA’s nine. CCSU was also outscored in the paint 46-4 and 10-2 on the fast break.
These early match-ups with big time programs will not necessarily represent how the Blue Devil women will succeed this season, as they look to win the NEC title once conference play comes around starting Dec. 29 vs. Mount Saint Mary’s. The Blue Devils play their first home game Nov. 16. vs. Brown before going back on the road to face the Penn State Nittany Lions.