The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to Auburn in the consolation game of the New York Life Holiday Invitational on Thursday afternoon. The Blue Devils (6-5) and Tigers (7-4) played strong defense throughout the game with Auburn pulling out the 49-40 victory in the final minute of play. The Blue Devils were led by 13 points and eight rebounds from junior Kirsten Daamen.
Auburn opened the second half of play with three baskets that stretched their lead to 30-18, but from that point the Blue Devils launched a 14-0 run to take their first lead since the middle of the first period.
With the lead cut to 30-24, Daamen took over the floor. The Blue Devil center scored the next six points. Daamen hit a pair of layups and also connected on two free throws to tie the game at 30-30. She assisted on the go-ahead score with a quick pass to Jessica Babe on a backdoor cut to the basket.
The game remained close until the final minute when Auburn pulled away for the victory.
In the first half, the Blue Devils built a 14-12 lead midway through the first half. Central was led by the strong post play from sophomore Lauren Arbogast and Daamen. Arbogast and Daamen combined to score Central's first 14 points of the game. Arbogast posted eight points in the period and Daamen six.
Both offenses started the game slowly, which allowed for five tie scores and three lead changes in the half. The Blue Devils took an 8-6 lead into the second media timeout, but Auburn used a 6-2 run to hold a 12-10 advantage at the next timeout.
Daamen gave the Blue Devils their final lead of the half on a layup with 6:34 left in the period. After Daamen's basket the Blue Devils were able to hold Auburn scoreless for a four minute stretch, but the Tigers broke out in the final minutes. Auburn closed the half on a 12-4 run, to take a 24-18 lead into the break.
Junior Jaclyn Babe came on strong late in the half to contribute Central's final four points before the break. She finished with 10 points.
Daamen finished with a team-high 13 points and Jessica Babe had a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Blue Devils return to action on December 28, against Bryant. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip-off in Detrick Gym.