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: email@example.com
Christopher Boulay contributed.