CCSU
 

Dugan Leads Central In 52-44 Loss to Monmouth

Junior Kerrianne Dugan scored 17 points, including 11 out of the last 16 Blue Devil points, but Central Connecticut State University dropped a 52-44 decision at home to Monmouth on Thursday. Dugan added five rebounds and three assists in the defeat as CCSU falls to 7-12 overall and 4-5 in Northeast Conference play. Monmouth improves to 10-10 on the season and 5-4 in the NEC.

Monmouth used a 10-3 run late in the second half to take a 46-37 lead with 4:54 to play in the game. The nine point lead proved to be the deciding factor in the contest. After Dugan finished on a driving layup to cut the Hawks' lead to two at 36-34 with 9:03 on the clock, Monmouth freshman Alysha Womack started the run with a turnaround jumper in the lane. After a two point basket by sophomore Alexis Canady, Blue Devil freshman Kirsten Daamen broke up the run with a traditional three point play. Daamen grabbed an offensive rebound and finished the put back to get CCSU back within three at 40-37. Canady and Womack then connected on back to back layups before freshman Adriana Allen finished the run with two free throws.

The Blue Devils attempted a late comeback as Dugan finished a layup in the lane and then hit one of two from the free throw line to make it 46-40 with just under four minutes to go. On the next play down court sophomore Alexzandria Dowdy lost control of the ball and then stole it back from the Hawk player on her way to a breakaway layup to pull CCSU within four. That was as close as the Blue Devils got as Monmouth went on to the 52-44 victory.

Unlike the last meeting between the two squads, neither team got into an offensive flow in the first half. The Blue Devils finished with a field goal percentage of 28.6 percent, while the Hawks were 27.6 percent from the floor in the opening frame. Monmouth took a 6-2 lead to start the contest, with Womack tallying the first four for the Hawks.

Monmouth extended its lead to eight at 15-7 before the Blue Devils went on a 6-0 run to get back within two points at 15-13. Dugan sparked the run with a jumper in the lane and then connected on two free throws to make it 15-11. Dowdy was the next to get in on the action as she stole the ball near half court and went in for the uncontested layup.

After the Hawks scored the next five points to take their lead back up to seven, junior Justina Udenze went on a 5-0 run all by herself to bring the Blue Devils back with in two just before the break. Udenze drew a foul in the lane and knocked down both of her free throws to start the run. She then took care of business on the defensive side of the ball, boxing out Monmouth's Chanel Gomez. Gomez was called for an over the back foul and Udenze went back to the charity stripe. The Hamden, CT native hit one of two this time and came back with a jumper in the paint on CCSU's next possession. Monmouth scored on two free throws just before halftime to take a 22-18 lead into the locker rooms.

Monmouth improved its shooting percentage immensely in the second half, connecting on 44.0 percent of its shots to finish the game with a 35.2 field goal percentage. CCSU ended the game with a percentage of 32.7 from the floor and only hit 11 of 19 from the charity stripe.

Womack finished with a game high 20 points to lead the Hawks. Freshman Gabby Singer hit three of five from beyond the arc to tally nine points in the victory. Canady led Monmouth in rebounds with seven and added eight points.

Dowdy scored six points, while grabbing six boards, dealing out five assists and notching four steals for the Blue Devils. It was Daamen getting things done on the defensive side of the ball, as she finished with a career best six blocks in the defeat. The Merrimac, MA native added seven points and four rebounds for CCSU. Her six blocks marked the first time a Blue recorded five or more blocks in a game since Udenze achieved the feat on December 6 of 2008.

Central Connecticut will next play host to Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The 2009-10 men's and women's basketball seasons are brought to you by Farmington Bank.