by Daniel Fappiano
It was a tale of two halves as the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut took on the Seahawks of Wagner in a crucial Northeast Conference match-up. Leading by eight at halftime and a game-high 16 points early in the second quarter, Wagner seemed to have the game in control. However, following a dominant third quarter, the Blue Devils were able to come away with a 66-64 victory, winning their fourth game in a row.
For Central, junior Kiana Patterson led the way with 24 points and 12 assists, earning her first double-double of the season. Patterson has scored double figures in all four of Central’s games during their win streak.
Fellow junior Andi Lydon held her own on the boards, grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds. This marked her second game in a row where she reached such a feat.
Outside of Lydon and Patterson, the Blue Devils’ bench had one of their stronger games, outscoring Wagner 22-10. The bench scoring was led by freshman Emma McCamus, who put up eight.
For the Seahawks, it was the Sierra Clark show, as the senior forward scored a game-high 28 points, adding a team-high 10 rebounds. Redshirt freshman Morgan Lenahan, who had 16 points of her own, led her team with five assists.
While Clark did most of the scoring for Wagner, 20 of her 28 points came in the first half. After the break, the Blue Devils switched to a 2-3 zone and began double-teaming the star forward. She wasn’t able to dominate as he had in the first. Central junior Denisha Gardener stepped up and had one of her better defensive games, helping shut down Clark in the second.
Overall, Central held the Seahawks to just 18 second-half points on just 19 percent shooting compared to their 46 first-half points on 58 percent shooting. Clark shot just 2-8 from the field in the second after going 9-15 in the first. CCSU limited Wagner to just two threes in the second half after the Seahawks hit five in the first.
On offense, the Blue Devils used an impressive third quarter to come away with the victory. Entering the period down 46-38, Central outscored Wagner 21-7 to take a five-point lead and never looked back. Patterson scored nine of her 24 points in the third quarter alone as the team shot 56 percent from the field.
The Blue Devils were able to limit the turnovers after halftime, coughing the ball up just five times after halftime compared to 12 times in the first.
Against Wagner, Central proved that they are able to stay composed and come back from any margin. During the early portions of the season, the team struggles and let either big leads or big deficits slip away at the end of games. As the Blue Devils continue to win, it’s evident their confidence as a team continues to grow.
CCSU has just five games left in the season as they look to make their way up the NEC tournament ladder. They’ll head to Mount St. Mary’s next as they look to keep their winning streak alive.