Album Review: Black Lips’ ‘200 Million Thousand’

It’s a trend that has been seen many times before.

Indie rock bands with a taste for the lo-fi side of life tend to find motivation and/or sobriety by their third or fourth album and ultimately betray the very DIY production values and messy antics that gave them a name to begin with.

We’ve witnessed it with The Strokes and Kings of Leon just in the past few years, and while the new sounds and neat packages don’t always disappoint, they nevertheless feel a bit safer in their attempts at grandeur, as if fun is the necessary victim of higher production values and more complex artistry.

On their fourth album, 200 Million Thousand, Black Lips throw up a big fat middle finger to the very idea of more production, opting instead to lay down a thick layer of scuzz over the entire track list and proving that a band need not grow up, sonically or mentally, to show maturity.

On their last release, 2007’s Good, Bad, Not Evil, the band was able to clean things up a bit without losing their signature garage-psychrock sound that always seemed to be coming from a dank basement circa 1967. Nevertheless, in its desire to prove itself eclectic the album instead came off as scattershot, presenting a track list of mostly winners with some duds and joke songs that, though superficially entertaining, warranted skipping over after two or three listens.

Previous releases provided more consistent atmospheres but were similarly uneven and sometimes too messy, even by lo-fi standards. 200 Million Thousand seems to find a healthy balance between the two and, more importantly, resists fucking around (with the exception of the “rap” song near the end, “The Drop I Hold”), the result being the group’s most consistently entertaining album to date.

Though the highs may not be as high there are also no real lows to speak of. Instead the Black Lips focus on fleshing out their sound in lieu of running from it by finding inspiration in the darker corners of their music. “Take My Heart” and “Let It Grow” sound as though they could’ve been seedy gems on the group’s 2004 album Let It Bloom, while “Trapped in a Basement” evokes Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (of “I Put a Spell On You” fame).

Things remain dark, especially on the second half of the album, but never lose the fun sense of spontaneity that no doubt spawns from the band’s stubborn adherence to live recording sessions.

This stubbornness may, in fact, give insight into how the group manages to remain fresh without significantly altering their sound; The Black Lips know that they’re making dank, dirty, scuzzy rock music, and that they don’t need to add production or kill the fun to make it good.

Vice Music

-P.J. Decoteau, Staff Writer

Album Review: Buckethead’s ‘Slaughterhouse on the Prairie’

“Crouching Stump Hidden Limb”- that’s just one example of the unique and macabre song titles guitar shredder Buckethead devises.

On his 25th studio album, Slaughterhouse on the Prairie, Buckethead has references to basketball players and the chicken meat industry, among other things. Buckethead is quite simply a workaholic. He produces his solo albums like nobody else.

Hardly ever is there a period of production quietness from this unique fellow. Constantly teaming up with new collaborators and releasing solo album upon solo album, Buckethead is the type of artist a fan loves. Slaughterhouse has that typical Buckethead sound. Attitude towards another Buckethead album of escalating guitar solos entirely depends on one’s favorite flavor of Buckethead.

Albums of his range from straightforward shred heavy thrash inspired albums like this one to metal themed albums like Somewhere Over the Slaughterhouse (yes he loves slaughterhouses) to experimental concept albums such as Bucketheadland, which gives the listener a tour of his fantasy amusement park.

The album kicks off with not one, but two tracks in honor of NBA star LeBron James. The first track, simply titled “LeBron” is an absolute stunner of an opener for an album. I’ve always been captivated by Buckethead’s ability to capture the sound that one would expect from his instrumental track’s titles.

The song that follows the opener, “LeBron’s Hammer”, does just this. It’s as if Buckethead was watching a highlight reel of LeBron when creating this track.

Buckethead’s music is almost indescribable to someone who has never had the pleasure of actually listening to him before. A few words do come to mind when listening to this latest album. Pulsing, energetic, soaring and obliterating are the first few that roll off my tongue.

My words don’t do justice for the masked man who wears a bucket on his head. Slaughterhouse is yet another musical success for Buckethead, after all, 25 albums is a lot. The magical thing is that each of these 25 albums, while sometimes displaying the same side of Buckethead, never sound redundant.

To keep a sound so fresh over that many years and that many albums is an amazing feat. I look forward to Buckethead’s 26th album which should be out in, oh, a few months.

 

-Michael Walsh, Asst. Entertainment

Album Review: Dan Auerbach’s ‘Keep It Hid’

Dan Auerbach, best known for being one half of one of indie rock’s most invigorating duos, the Black Keys, has made a career out of his thick guitar riffs and blues swagger.

On his first solo release, Keep It Hid, Auerbach tones down the riffage and instead displays a knack for a mixture of melody and country-tinged sleaze that he’d only shown hints of with the ‘Keys.

Of course, without drummer Patrick Carney slamming away at the set and the stomp-heavy garage-blues structure of his main gig, Auerbach’s music loses some of its blunt force. Keep it Hid more than makes up for it in a subtlety not typically found on a Black Keys album.

The title track, for example, displays not only Auerbach’s better-than-expected vocal range, but also a swagger that doesn’t necessarily come from his usual brute style, employing instead a slower beat and sparse guitar.

The album also presents a more varied Auerbach, having him jump from his niche of blues-rock to country-melancholia (“Trouble Weighs a Ton”), barroom pop (“Whispered Words”), and even soft-acoustics (“When the Night Comes”).

Those expecting another Black Keys album will likely be a bit thrown off at first, but Keep It Hid holds a bevy of good whiskeysoaked tunes and some welcome deviation.

Nonesuch Records

 

-P.J. Decoteau, Staff Writer

Black-Eyed Sally’s Presents Perfect Atmosphere for Jazz

Black-Eyed Sally’s walls are covered from front to back with blues and rock legends like Buddy Guy, Hendrix, Elvis and Stevie Ray Vaughn, but every Monday night the lights are dimmed down, the candles are lit and the smooth sounds of jazz fill the air.

On Monday, Feb. 9, the Kris Jensen Quartet was swinging away as couples were sprinkled through the dining area enjoyed the house’s barbeque and whatever else looked tasty on the menu. The people at the bar, who greatly outnumbered the diners, sat and watched Jensen and his quartet breeze though songs like “Body and Soul” and Freddy Hubbard’s “Birdlike”.

The atmosphere was comfortable and the bar seemed decent, but it was obvious that almost everyone was there to see the band. Peter Greenfogel, a personal friend of Jensen and the rest of the quartet consisting of Steve Porter, Craig Hartley and Ben Bilello, said there weren’t too many places he knew of to hear America’s greatest contribution to music.

“I’m only here for the jazz,” said Steve Nebbia, who is a regular at jazz nights, and added that he didn’t even Black-Eyed Sally’s Presents Perfect Atmosphere for Jazz bother looking for any other venues since every Monday night at Sally’s was always a guaranteed solid performance.

There is no cover at the door, so the experience won’t even cost a dime. The patrons are friendly if newcomers are in the mood for conversation.

“I’m still trying to get the kinks out, you know, getting over these winter doldrums,” said Jensen, on the tenor sax, in between songs. Ironically, by the sound of the band, it didn’t seem like they had many cobwebs to dust off.

The stage appearances from week to week, depending on who decides to play. Sometimes a musician will decide to play a couple of weeks in row, such as the night’s piano player Craig Hartley does. It is rare that these musicians disappoint.

Sally’s is an easy-to-reach place and a laid-back venue apart from the insurance company-laden streets of downtown Hartford.

These are seasoned veterans coming out to perform, so if you’re attracted to Sally’s for the jazz, which you should be, expect some of Connecticut’s best.

Black-Eyed Sally’s BBQ and Blues. 350 Asylum Street. Hartford, Conn. 06103

 

-Charles Desrochers, Staff Writer

College Humor Better Off Staying Home

Everyone’s favorite waste of time, CollegeHumor.com, has now made the jump to cable television.

A site more known for it’s collection of internet memes and video captured calamities, College Humor is now branching out with a show on MTV. The show itself is in the style of the Web site’s prominently featured Hardly Working series.

The characters are all exaggerated versions of their real life counterparts. What will make show successful is its experience and its timing. The actors on the show have been doing roughly the same thing for the Web site for a couple of years now. They might not be as polished as some other comedy troupes, but they’ve had time to grow into their style.

The fact that the College Humor staff has been producing content almost every day for that last three or four years gives them an edge just for the sheer quantity of work. Other troupes like Britanick and Those Aren’t Muskets, while having more satisfying, higher quality material, only put out videos every month at most. I can’t imagine any better practice for a television show than that kind of repetition.

Rooted in the Internet, the writers have realized that quick works. The timing in each sketch is key because one of the things that seems to plague sketch comedy is its inability to know when to quit. SNL sketches seem to always be two minutes longer than they need to be and MADtv should have never started in the first place.

College Humor is like the fast food of comedy because of this: it doesn’t require too much thinking, too much time or too much commitment. Everything is presented in less than five minutes, not leaving enough time for the scene to fall apart. The viewer never needs to commit to a character on any level other than, “He’s nerdy, I like him”. The show is literally just like the Web site.

Now before watching, it seems obvious that the Web site has something going for it that the show may not. Like I said before, people like College Humor because of its collection of stupid videos ready to be beamed to your laptop at a moment’s notice. A TV show, on the other hand, is every Sunday at 9:30.

With this, it’s no longer College Humor working around your schedule, but your schedule working around College Humor. If you are dead set on not watching MTV though, on the chance that you may witness the collapse of civilization, you can still watch the episodes in their entirety online.

I have to commend the producers of the show for this because they realized their audience is a bunch of lazy bastards who spend more time on their computer than their television.

Then again, if you’re a Web site that makes a TV show that will most likely be viewed more online, where you already have a ton of content in the same style, then why bother making a TV show instead of a Web series?

The College Humor Show is a waste of time – not that that’s a bad thing. It is what’s made them popular.

 

-Charles Desrochers, Staff Writer

‘Friday the 13th’ Reboot Results in Uninspired Bore

Remake, reboot, reimagining, whatever you want to call it, they’ve all gotten tired. Nearly 30 years after the original Friday the 13th studio execs at New Line Cinema have decided to rework the campy slasher classic and its first three sequels the same way they put their greasy hands all over the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

The new film, which is the first on screen appearance of Jason Voorhees since 2003’s Freddy vs. Jason, reboots the series in a way so viewers are first met with scenes from 1980, the year the original film was made. Flash forward to present day where a group of young adults are camping in the woods. Flash forward again and you have the brother of one of the now missing girls searching for his sister, Whitney. Enter Voorhees, and you have your plot.

Friday the 13th has almost all the fixings of your typical slasher film. Blood, gore, laughs, sex, nudity, drag the kids into the woods and kill them plot device and so on and so forth. The problem with this film is that it doesn’t do anything new for the tried and true genre of slasher films.

These films have been around in different forms for years now. To separate your film from the other mass amount of formulaic and generic films that clog up the horror genre you have to be different.

Take, for example, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. This 2006 slasher gave a different perspective of your not-so-average serial killer. The film was a mockumentary of sorts that had the viewer on the side of the killer rather than the side of the victims. It showed how Vernon, the killer, picked his victims and planned everything out. This is the kind of freshness that is not found in any of these remakes or reboots, including this one.

It’s no secret that I have absolute distaste for Hollywood’s constant usage of past ideas and brilliance to make a quick buck. That’s a whole different story for a whole different time. That said, this money-maker wasn’t all bland. If the film separated itself from the dreaded remake stigma there’d be more chance of having a fresh feel.

Director Marcus Nispel is one of these reasons. He’s already shown that he has potential for directing genre films as he helped the remake of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre succeed. The film is well composed and shot. Derek Mears stands out as Voorhees. He’s bulky yet athletic, creating a fearsome opponent for the victims. One look at Mears and he appears to be the modern day Michael Berryman.

The main problem was the people Mears was stalking. How many uninteresting, stupid and bland characters can you fit into one film? Ask screenwriters Damian Shannon and Mark Swift, because they know the answer. There’s your token black guy, your funny Asian, a few dumb blondes and oh, yeah, your absolute key college frat boys.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely satisfying to watch these annoying characters get killed off one by one. I’m not asking for character development that’s off the charts either. I’m just looking for a few memorable, fresh and unique characters. This partners up with the film not being able to separate itself from the rest of the bunch to make for a charmless, formulaic, sometimes boring and all too serious horror film of the slasher variety.

I’m trying hard to be kind to this film. I noticed the effort. The writers paid some nice tributes to the original series of films that are to be appreciated. This film is certainly better than other films in the series and other recent remakes in general.

The question for me is, was it necessary? Probably not. Why can’t these obviously somewhat talented screenwriters and director team up to create something new, something fresh? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the energy? Create your own slasher icon. Wouldn’t that be more fun? I guess it wouldn’t be fun for the men in suits sitting high in their offices as they’d fear that the film wouldn’t bank for sure at the box office.

The new Friday the 13th is the uninspired film we’ve all seen before. These films have lost their charm and as long as the media conglomerates run things it will never change.

Long gone are the days of Mario Bava’s twisting macabre tales set to slasher formula. Ah well, at least I got to see the wife of US Olympic hockey player Mike Modano get hit by a boat.

 

-Michael Walsh, Asst. Entertainment

Blue Devils Overwhelmed by Pioneers in 101-67 Loss

In the hours leading up to the Central Connecticut men’s basketball game against Sacred Heart on Thursday, word began to circulate that Ken Horton would not be in the lineup due to a concussion.

Things only got worse from there. Sacred Heart made fifteen three pointers as they decimated CCSU on their home floor, 101-67.

It was the worst home loss in years for a Central team that is floundering down the stretch.

“Tonight, it was just an overall poor performance on our part,” said Central head coach Howie Dickenman. “We need to find some intensity. If we keep this up, we’re playing ourselves out of the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.”

Pioneers’ guard Corey Hassan torched the Blue Devils for a gamehigh 21 points on eight of thirteen shooting. Five other players scored in double digits for Sacred Heart, who improved to 10-6 in the Northeast Conference. The Blue Devils fell behind early and were never able to recover.

Each of the first five CCSU offensive possessions resulted in a turnover. Sacred Heart capitalized on those turnovers, jumping out to a 9-0 lead in the first 3:10 of play.

“They had nine points before we even took a shot,” said Dickenman. “We were never able to recover. We were never even close to recovering, to be honest with you.”

Central’s struggles with turnovers were compounded by the accurate shooting of the Pioneers. Sacred Heart shot over 62 percent from the field in the game, was 60 percent from beyond the arc, and senior forward Joey Henley made all six of the team’s free throws.

Amidst all the negatives, Central did get some much-needed life from freshman guard Kyle Desmarais. The Montreal, Quebec native came into Thursday night averaging just over five minutes of playing time per game. He made an impact immediately, scoring seven points to lead all CCSU scorers in the first half. By the end of the evening, he had played 29 minutes, scored a career-high 11 points, all while tacking on four rebounds, three assists and three steals.

“Kyle gave us a spark coming off the bench,” Dickenman said. “He just kind of reacted and was very energetic.”

Shemik Thompson, who had a team-high 13 points on the night, also was complimentary of Desmarais’ play.

“I know he got me going,” said Thompson. “He definitely stepped up. He plays hard.”

Thompson was once again the most consistent Blue Devil on the floor, grabbing a pair of rebounds and dishing out two assists in a losing effort. His effort did not match his stat line, in large part due to his teammates’ struggles to finish.

Central shot just 33 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, almost half of what Sacred Heart was shooting. Once again, just like the previous week’s upset at the hands of FDU, missed lay-ups proved costly for the Blue Devils.

“Even though we started bad,” said Thompson, “if we made those lay-ups that we missed, then we would have been right in the game.”

Central never led at any point in the game, while Sacred Heart found themselves up by 19 after just the first half. The Blue Devils trailed by 15 in the first half, found a way to whittle the deficit down to 4, but coul

d muster no further comeback.

It was a far cry from the game at the William H. Pitt Center in January in which Central lost 77-69. The Blue Devils were able to bounce back from such a crushing defeat on Saturday, as they took down St. Francis (NY), 78-73. An undermanned CCSU team missing Ken Horton, Tamir Johnson, and Chris Baskerville was able to overcome the short bench to get a key win and clinch a NEC Tournament berth.

“There was a little bit more pressure, with eight players and needing a win, there was a bit more, but not a lot,” Thompson said. “With three people out, we had to step up.”

Freshman Robby Ptacek and senior Marcus Palmer each contributed a team-high 17 points in the victory, while sophomore David Simmons posted a double-double with 16 points and ten rebounds. Simmons played a key role down the stretch as Central tried to preserve the lead. With a two-point lead, Shemik Thompson was fouled with just 11 seconds left. He missed both free throws, but Simmons was able to grab the offensive rebound, and was fouled.

Despite shooting just under 52 percent from the line on the season, he knocked down both free throws to ice the victory for CCSU.

“This was a statement game for ourselves,” said Simmons. “We are normally a great team at home.”

Central hosts Monmouth on Senior Night this Thursday at 7 p.m., before closing out the regular season at in-state rival Quinnipiac on Saturday in a key NEC match up. With the split this past week, CCSU is now 13-14 overall and 8-8 in the conference.

 

-Kyle Dorau, Sports Editor: ccsurecorder.sports@gmail.com

Blue Devils Turn Back Pioneers

In what may have been the final home game ever for the CCSU Ice Hockey Club, the Blue Devils were victorious on Senior Night, downing the Sacred Heart Pioneers 9-4 at Newington Arena on Friday.

Junior co-captain Joe Dabkowski’s hat trick powered the Blue Devil offense as they head into ACHA Regional competition on a five-game win streak. Fifteen different Blue Devils registered points in the victory, which once again showcased a potent Central offense.

“I was very impressed with how the guys looked,” said Head Coach Jim Mallia. “All four lines were coming together at the right time, kind of just like what we did last year,” a reference to finishing the 2007-08 regular season on an eight-game win streak.

The Blue Devils held an emotional edge with the uncertainty of the program’s future combined with saying goodbye to six senior student athletes. The offensive explosion began just 26 seconds into the game as Dabkowski opened the scoring, appropriately with goal number 26 on the season.

Less than two minutes later, sophomore Eric Blewett banged home his fourth of the season to give CCSU a 2-0 lead. Central’s third goal was the play of the game. The Blue Devils took advantage of a three-on-one as Matt Williams scored his fifth of the year thanks to some nifty passing from linemates Jeff Pease and Dane Anderson.

The tic-tac-toe marker certainly impressed coach Mallia.

“To see that from those three guys that were put together a couple of weeks ago,” Mallia said. “When they’re doing things like that, there’s no way I’m going to change that.”

Coach Mallia continued to praise the highlight-reel goal calling it, “one of the prettier goals I’ve seen in ten years.” A concern heading into the game was the quality of Sacred Heart as an opponent.

With the Pioneers sporting a record of 1-2 against Super East teams and their only win against a sub-par New York University team, it was another meaningless game for CCSU.

“In April, you schedule the teams and you don’t know how the teams are going to be,” said Mallia. “That’s just how the season ended.”

Dabkowski, a three-year veteran of the team, knows how important the past couple weeks have been for Central despite the lack of quality opponents.

“You’ve got to make sure you do all the little things that you always do. You go back to the basics against lesser opponents,” he said. “You’ve got to make sure you don’t get into any bad habits. It’s really just to build confidence, put the puck away, play well defensively and make sure you have everything in gear heading into the postseason.”

Seven different Blue Devils scored in the victory, as six players had multi-point games. Craig Prema and Mike DiClemente each had three assists.

“That’s what we need,” said Dabkowski. “We need everyone putting the puck away and everyone playing defensive hockey.”

Senior Craig Height got the start in net, splitting time with Carmine Vetrano. Height allowed one goal in thirty minutes and earned the victory, his seventh of the season.

Central’s regular season record comes to a close at 17-8-1. Corey Emilia led the Pioneers offensively, grabbing a goal and two helpers. CCSU now looks ahead toward Regional competition, held in Albany, N.Y. this weekend.

The teams ranked third through 10th in the Northeast will take part in a single elimination tournament, and two semifinalists will qualify for the Division II National Championship. Central reached Nationals last year, and looks to return for the second consecutive season.

Standing in the Blue Devils’ way in round one are the Nittany Lions of Penn State University. While they are no longer members of the Super East, Penn State is a familiar foe for CCSU. “They’re primarily the same team as last year that we beat 5-0 and tied 5-5,” Mallia said. “It is ironic. You had to figure one of the Super East teams would face them in the Regional, and it happened to be us.”

 

-Kyle Dorau, Sports Editor: ccsurecorder.sports@gmail.com

Crockett Thrives in Comeback Year for Women’s Basketball

Versatility is a valuable weapon in women’s college basketball.

Weapons as a whole are often far more dangerous when they go undetected.

That’s what makes Leanne Crockett so vital to the Central Connecticut women’s basketball program in the midst of this year’s incredible turnaround. Crockett, a sophomore from Manchester, Conn., has the ability to play anywhere on the court.

With all her talent, she has a soft-spoken andfocused demeanor. That allows her to go relatively unnoticed during game play, until you look at the stat line and see the numbers she produces.

“She just makes a difference,” said head coach Beryl Piper.

Inside the paint, she has proven that she can hang with the best in the Northeast Conference, ranking in the top five in rebounds per game as a sophomore.

“She’s a big, strong kid,” explained Piper. “I’m not sure there’s a player in the conference that is as physically strong as Leanne is.”

That strength allows her to pull down over eight rebounds a game despite being just a shade under six feet tall. Away from the basket, Crockett makes just as much of a difference to the team. She averages ten points per game, and has shot better than 38 percent from beyond the arc this season. She has made more three-pointers this season than anyone else in the Northeast Conference and is in the top ten for rebounding.

“I think the kids want her to take the game-winning shot,” Piper said. “It’s funny, when she shoots, [the team] is always saying ‘knock, knock’ because they just assume it’s going to go in the basket all the time.”

With Central’s rebirth from 4-25 overall just a year ago to being seeded second in the NEC Tournament next week, such success may be unfamiliar to some of her teammates. However, Crockett is no stranger to big games or success in them. In 2003 and 2005, she helped lead the Manchester High School Indians to Class LL State Titles.

Playing alongside Crockett at MHS was teammate-turned-conference rival Khalia Cain, now of Sacred Heart.

“It was weird playing against her,” said Crockett. “I played with her for three years at the high school and she’s a good player. It was funny being on different teams.”

The two played against one another for the first time on January 31 at the William H. Pitt Center. While Cain’s Pioneers got the 76-64 victory, Crockett had the better stats on the day, scoring nine points and grabbing ten rebounds.

High school basketball also allowed Crockett to become more familiar with Piper.

“It worked out because I knew Piper from Manchester,” referring to Piper’s time as head coach of New Britain High’s basketball program.

With Manchester in the same conference as the Golden Hurricanes, the two were acquainted with one another and would soon cross paths in the future.Crockett attended the University of Maryland-Baltimore County her first year out of high school, but returned home after one year to enroll at CCSU.

“I liked the kids on the team, the coaching staff was nice, [but] it just wasn’t a good fit for me,” Crockett explains. “I just didn’t really like it there. I never felt comfortable.”

A return closer to home is apparently just what the doctor ordered for the Connecticut native. She sat out the 2007-08 season due to NCAA transfer rules, but was still able to practice and be around the team. That allowed her to have perspective on what the differences are between last year’s struggles and the accomplishments this season.

“We know how to finish and win games now,” she said. Winning certainly is made easier when Central’s team added a player who went on to win the NEC Rookie of the Week award twice, named among the top rebounders in the NEC, and nearly averages a doubledouble on the season.

Not only is she beneficial to the basketball team, but one school’s loss is the gain of two athletic programs. Crockett will also be competing as a member of the women’s track team in the throwing events. Last season she threw the javelin and discus, and placed third in the Yale Springtime Invitational with a javelin toss in excess of 31 meters.

For now, her sole focus is leading the women’s basketball program to a NEC Championship. When asked about the young team’s potential, her outlook is bright.

“We’re only going to continue to get better,” she said. The same goes for Central’s most versatile weapon.

 

-Kyle Dorau, Sports Editor: ccsurecorder.sports@gmail.com

CCSU Defeats Terriers, Clinches Second Seed in NEC Tournament

CCSU’s women’s basketball team defeated St. Francis (N.Y.) 64- 52 with double-doubles from Justina Udenze and Kerrianne Dugan on Alumni Day at Detrick Gymnasium.

Udenze put up her third straight double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Dugan added 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Coach Beryl Piper was pleased with the win.

“It is always good to win, especially with Alumni here,” she said.

Dugan spoke positively on the defensive effort of the team, which held St. Francis to 31.8 percent from the field.

“The past couple of games we have been struggling on defense, but today we picked it up,” she said. The Blue Devils were without one of their players as Leanne Crockett is stricken with bronchitis.

Freshman Shontice Simmons only played 16 minutes as she is dealing with a bad cold. “[Simmons] was struggling, but other kids stepped up,” Piper said, “We gotta pick it up without [Crockett].” CCSU had their biggest lead of the game with 11:41 remaining, when Udenze hit a layup to make it a 24 point gap at 49-25. For the Terriers (4-22, 3-13) Kendra Williams led the way with a double-double of her own, scoring 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Karla Babica added 10 points and eight rebounds while Vianca Tejada added 10 points in a losing effort. Freshman Gabrielle Oglesby who added 16 points and seven rebounds for the Blue Devils, said in regards to the overall success of the season, “coming off of last year, [the success] is not the icing on the cake, but [it shows] that we are for real.”

The Blue Devils were unable to carry Saturday’s momentum into Monday night’s game against the Sacred Heart Pioneers as the fell 81- 62 to drop their record to 17-10 overall and 12-4 in the conference. The Blue Devils started out strong against the Pioneers and made several runs during the first half, but the Pioneers held onto the Blue Devils and kept it close.

Central led 23-17 with less than nine minutes left in the first half when the Pioneers began a 22-10 run that put them on top by six points heading into the locker room.

Freshman Shontice Simmons led the early Central charge, scoring 12 of her 18 points in the first half. But the Blue Devils could not slow down the best shooting team in the conference.

The Pioneers entered the game shooting a conference high 45 percent from the field and leading the NEC with 69.4 points per game. The Pioneers outscored the Blue Devils in the paint 18-14 but it was that high field goal percentage that hurt Central the most.

Led by sophomores Alisa Apo and Maggie Cosgrove the Pioneers extended their lead to eight points to start the second half. The Blue Devils managed to pull within four points of the Pioneers with just over 14 minutes left to play but then SHU took over. It would be another 5:14 seconds before the Blue Devils scored again. The Pioneers went on a 15-0 that saw Apo and Cosgrove score a combined 13 points in just over three minutes, including three three-point baskets. Apo led all scorers with 19 points for the game.

“They just keep nailing shots. Every time we made a mistake defensively they took advantage of it. They’re a smart team like that,” said Piper. “I don’t know you just can’t make mistakes against them. We have to do everything right to beat that team.”

Oglesby and junior P.J. Wade added 10 points to the Central effort while Udenze led the team with 11 rebounds and fell one point shy of her fourth straight double-double. CCSU has two games left in the regular season. On Saturday they will travel to Hamden to take on the Quinnipiac Bobcats as 1 p.m. and the will end the regular season at home against the Monmouth Hawks on Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m.

 

-Peter Collin, Managing Editor: ccsurecorder@gmail.com

Christopher Boulay contributed.