by Daniel Fappiano
The Central Connecticut State University’s women’s basketball team’s quest to reach .500 in conference play fell short against St. Francis Brooklyn as the Blue Devils lost 78-70.
For the Terriers, Maria Palarino and Alex Delaney led the way with 15 points a piece. Palarino and Delaney also led the team in rebounding, each with six, while Delaney and Abby Anderson recorded three assists. The 78 points were St. Francis’ third highest of the season.
As for the Blue Devils, Kiana Patterson and Andi Lydon led the team with 17 points. Emma McCamus and Tiffany Slicklein both came away with eight rebounds a piece, while five different players made a team-leading two assists. Seventy points scored is the highest total for CCSU all season.
Central struggled with turnovers early, giving the ball up 12 times in the first half. They were able to make the adjustments at halftime; however, they coughed the ball up just four times in the second.
CCSU wasn’t as lucky when it came to points in the paint, suffering a 38-16 deficit. Head coach Beryl Piper credited the Terriers ability to adjust to her team’s defense.
“Well you know it’s funny, this team shoots the three-ball very well, and they did not shoot many threes against us today. They kind of took it inside. We were sort of taking our chances. ‘Let’s defend the three and not let them knock down shots because both No. 14 and No. 23 shoot the three at a really high percentage.’ We took our chances one-on-one in the post and they did hurt us; we just got to keep working. Different kids will have to step up,” Piper said.
While the Blue Devils were unable to contain St. Francis’ play in the paint, freshman Ashley Forker put together arguably her best game of the season. In over 28 minutes, the freshman guard and forward scored a career-high 12 points with four rebounds and two assists. Piper credited Forker’s ability to play with confidence.
“I was really happy for Ashley Forker that she came in and played with confidence and shot the ball with confidence because sometimes she overpasses. She’s a good teammate. She tries to find her teammates when she has shots and today she took some open shots. [She] made some big shots for us that kind of got us going,” Piper said.
During the first half, senior Briana Jacobs went down with what looked like a leg injury. While the severity is unknown, Piper declined to comment on how much time she would miss and simply referred to her as “out” after the game.
The Blue Devils will look to get back on track on Monday against the Blackbirds of LIU Brooklyn. With a win, they would advance to 3-4 and inch closer to a postseason berth in the NEC conference tournament.