By Brittany Burke
It has been a year since the Blue Devils lost to the Fordham Rams, 66-64, but the memory is still prominent in women’s basketball Head Coach Beryl Piper’s mind.
The Blue Devils got their wanted revenge, beating the Fordham Rams, at home in Detrick Gymnasium, 64-57 on Wednesday Nov. 18.
“I think we had a little revenge, you know? Last year we were up on them by 10 with 11 minutes to go, and then with like seven minutes to go there was like 11 lead changes in the game, and they end up beating us down at their place,” recalled Coach Piper. “… So there was some revenge going on here.”
Not only did they win, but CCSU (1-2) kept Fordham (1-1) to less than 60 points, a goal in which Coach Piper seemed pleased to accomplish.
Much of the Blue Devil win could be attributed to the defense. The team was able to limit the Rams to a mere 17 points in the first half.
The Rams missed their first nine attempted field goals, making six of twenty-four attempts in the first half, and allowed the Blue Devils 29 defensive rebounds, while CCSU gave up only 11 offensive rebounds.
“Even though our offense might’ve had some niches in them, we came back on D and we stopped ‘em, and that gave us more chances on the offense,” said guard Shontice Simmons, who had eight rebounds and 10 points for the night.
A major advantage for the Blue Devils was the ability to contain 6’1” forward, Tiffany Stokes. Stokes was shut out by CCSU, while in the first game of her season she was Fordham’s leading point scorer. This forced the Rams to switch up their strategy, allowing the Blue Devils to maintain the tempo of the game.
There was a notable change in the energy that the Blue Devils possessed in this game’s first half. Where the Blue Devils started slow against the Holy Cross Crusaders they began strong against the Rams and maintained the lead for the full forty minutes.
“Before the game we talked about coming out with that same kind of intensity we had in the second half [versus Holy Cross],” said Coach Piper.
While the Blue Devils seemed to find the spark they were lacking they could not maintain a sizeable lead. Whenever it looked like the team would be able to lengthen their point cushion, the Rams were right there to bring the pressure.
With under five minutes to play in the second half the Rams were able to score six points to the Blue Devils’ three, made by Simmons and Kerrianne Dugan, shortening the Blue Devils’ lead from (53-49) to just three points at (58-55).
The game was down to the wire with the Blue Devils getting four free throw attempts, and the Rams one. Dugan made all four of her free throws, while Kirsten Daamen went one for two. Dugan sealed the win with her two free throw points with 6.8 seconds left.
“In any game that’s gonna happen, so we got to be ready for it. It can happen at any time, but it’s nice to know that when a team does start to come back we have the composure to keep the lead and win,” said Dugan on the times throughout the game in which the Rams had a chance to take the lead.
Dugan was the Blue Devils point leader against the Rams with seventeen total points. The junior forward went 6-11 field goals, 1-1 in three pointers and 4-6 in free throws.
“I feel like finally I was able to contribute. It started out on defense, like I felt like I was being active on defense, and the defense leads to our offense,” said Dugan.
The Blue Devils may have been able to capture their first win, but the season is long from over. They are back in action at home on Wednesday Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. versus Rhode Island.