By Kyle Dorau / Sports Editor
BOSTON, Mass. – The Terriers defeated the Blue Devils, 79-60 at Case Gym in the first round of the Women’s NIT.
Sophomore Leanne Crockett and freshman Shontice Simmons each had a team-high 17 points for CCSU, who fell to 18-14 on the season.
The Blue Devils led by three at the half, but suffered a stretch of 6:55 in which they were outscored 16-0. Central was also outscored a total of 41-19 in the second half.
Central shot under 28 percent in the second half, while BU shot over 58 percent, and were four of six from beyond the arc.
“We were just rushing, taking bad shots,” said Simmons. “Key moments we could have turned the momentum.”
Conversely, the Terriers took advantage of sharp shooting from senior guard Kristi Dini, who was 6-12 from the field, all from three-point range for a game-high eighteen points.
Blue Devils head coach Beryl Piper echoed the sentiments of her freshman point guard.
“It’s a long game,” said Piper. “Obviously momentum plays a role in what you do.”
Once Central’s offense began to sputter in the second half, BU’s took flight. The two offenses could not have performed more differently in the second half.
“They did some things, and we didn’t know how to handle it,” said Piper. The Blue Devils had just nine assists as opposed to 21 turnovers, while the Terriers’ crisp passing led to 20 assists and just 10 turnovers.
Not only did Central give away the ball far more, but those giveaways proved costly, as BU was able to rack up 23 points off CCSU miscues.
Sophomore forward Kerrianne Dugan notched a double-double for the Blue Devils, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Overall, Central out-rebounded the Terriers 38-25.
Dugan, at the close of her second season at CCSU, put the season in perspective after the contest.
“I think it definitely says a lot about our team and the potential we have for the coming year,” she said. “Coming into it, nobody even thought we would be close.”
Central graduates one player, senior guard Jhanay Harris, who averaged 3.7 points per game this season, while shooting over 33 percent from three-point range.
Boston University ultimately fell to cross-town rival Boston College in the second round of the tournament, 68-53.
Going from 4-25 in 2007-08 to 18-14 this season, Central Connecticut had the best record turnaround in all of NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball.