The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to the Broncs of Rider by a score of 61-58 on Saturday afternoon in Lawerenceville, NJ. The Blue Devils (5-4) were led by senior Jessica Babe who recorded the CCSU women's basketball program's first triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Broncs (4-5) were led by 23 points and 12 rebounds from MyNeshia McKenzie.
Babe posted five points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead CCSU to a 31-22 lead at the half. Offensively, the Blue Devils featured a balanced attack in the first period with senior Brooke Bailey's six points leading the squad. Senior Lauren Arbogast (5), junior Kaley Watras (4) and sophomore Amanda Harrington (4) also made multiple baskets in the half.
The Blue Devils out rebounded the Broncs 22-20 in the period. CCSU was extremely effective on the offensive glass with seven boards and six second chance points.
The momentum swung in the second half as Rider opened the period with an 11-5 run over the first four minutes. The Blue Devils were able to hold the lead until the 11:13 mark as the Broncs tied the score at 40-40 on a jumper by Lashay Banks. Rider grabbed the lead seconds later on a pair of free throws by Mikal Johnson.
Down 47-41, with eight minutes left to play, Babe took over the game by scoring nine of CCSU's next 11 points to cut the deficit to 53-52. Harrington scored CCSU's other basket during the stretch with Babe registering her 10th assist of the game on the play.
Harrington finished the game with 13 points and eight rebounds. Bailey also grabbed eight boards and finished with seven points.
Needing one more rebound to record the program's first triple-double, Babe grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled the length of the court and scored on a layup.
A three-pointer by Shereen Lightbourne put the Broncs back up by four points with 3:28 left to play. The Blue Devils made it a one possession game over the final minutes, but CCSU was unable to complete the comeback.
Babe becomes the first Blue Devil to record a tripe-double during the Division I era. Her 10 assist matched her career-high, which she set last season.
"I felt like I had a good idea of where I needed to be on the floor today," Babe said following the game. "I battled for some rebounds, but it was my teammates that made the shots."
The Blue Devils held a 34-22 advantage on points in the paint, but CCSU connected on just 3-of-18 three point attempts. Rider capitalized on a 6-of-12 shooting day from behind the three point arc with a 3-of-5 performance in the second half.
Defensivly, the Blue Devils posted 12 steals with Babe (4) and Harrington (3) leading the way.
Babe also passed 300 career assists and 750 career points in the game. She finished the day with 307 assists and 751 points. Babe is the 10th CCSU women's player to reach 300 career assists.
CCSU returns to aciton on Dec. 30 against Hofstra. The Blue Devils will host the Pride for a 12 p.m. tip-off at Detrick Gym.