The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to Monmouth by a score of 69-63 on Monday night in West Long Branch, NJ. The Blue Devils (11-10, 5-5 NEC) were led by 20 points from senior Jaclyn Babe. The Hawks (9-12 6-4 NEC) top scorer was senior Carly Thibault who dropped in 21 points.
The Blue Devils opened the second half with a strong 9-4 run over the first four minutes and 11 seconds. Junior Jessica Babe led the charge with five of CCSU's nine points. Sophomore Kaley Watras and senior Kirsten Daamen also scored during the run. The opening stretch gave the Blue Devils a 38-36 lead.
CCSU's final lead of the game came with 13:06 left in the second half on a free throw by Jessica Babe. Babe hit one of two shots to put her team ahead 39-38, but from there Monmouth opened up a six point run that gave the Hawks a 44-39 advantage.
With Monmouth leading 48-41, Central made another run with a jumper by Daamen, a layup by Jessica Babe and a free throw from freshman Amanda Harrington. The run closed the deficit to two points and from that point the teams began trading baskets.
Watras was able to cut Central's deficit to a single point with a pair of free throws with 3:18 left in the game, but again Monmouth answered and went back ahead with six consecutive free throws.
The second half featured 31 total fouls, with CCSU committing 16 and Monmouth 15. Both teams exceeded the 10 foul limit early in the half.
Monmouth was able to pull away late in the game by connecting on 8-of-10 free throws over the final minute of play.
The Blue Devils featured a balanced offensive attack in the first half. Eight CCSU players scored in the period led by Jaclyn Babe's 10 points. As a team, Central shot 48% from the floor in the period, but Monmouth was able to erase CCSU's lead with four three pointers and six free throws. Monmouth led 32-29 at the half.
With 20 points tonight, Jaclyn Babe is now at 998 for her career. She has scored 807 points with the Blue Devils and 191 during her two seasons at Duquesne.
The Hawks out rebounded the Blue Devils 49-25 in the game and Monmouth pulled down 17 offensive boards.
Jessica Babe and Watras shared a team-high with five rebounds each. Jessica Babe also had seven assists and three steals to go along with eight points. All eight of Babe's points and four of her assists came in the second half.
The Blue Devils committed a season-low nine turnovers in the game and had a 15-9 assist-turnover ratio.
The Blue Devils return to action on Saturday at Detrick Gym against intrastate rival Quinnipiac. That game will tip-off at 12 p.m. and will be followed by the Quinnipiac and Central Connecticut men's game.