Women's Basketball NEC Opener Saturday at 1 PM

Women's Basketball NEC Opener Saturday at 1 PM

The Central Connecticut women's basketball team will open Northeast Conference play on Saturday against Robert Morris. The Blue Devils (6-4) and Colonials are scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip-off at Detrick Gym.

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Here are some notes on the Blue Devils heading into Saturday's contest:

Today • The Blue Devils (6-4) welcome the Colonials of Robert Morris (4-7) to Detrick Gymnasium on the opening day of Northeast Conference play. The Blue Devils have the second best record in the NEC heading into conference play and are one of the two NEC squads with a winning record in non-conference action. Robert Morris was selected first in the NEC preseason poll and is currently fifth in the league in non-conference winning percentage.

Up Next • The Blue Devils will host Saint Francis U on Monday night (1/6) before traveling to Wagner and LIU Brooklyn next weekend.

Series History • Robert Morris holds a 16-12 advantage in the all-time series between these programs, but CCSU won the last meeting, 69-60, on March 2, 2013. Under head coach Beryl Piper the Blue Devils are 2-3 against the Colonials at Detrick Gym.

Buzzer-Beater • Sophomore Nicole Ferguson hit the game-winner at the buzzer against CAA member Hofstra on Monday (12/30). The long two pointer was Ferguson's only basket of the game, but it delivered a 64-62 victory for the Blue Devils over the visiting Pride. Junior Kaley Watras helped get the Blue Devils back into the game with 22 points, including eight over the final five minutes of the first half.

Non-Conference Success • The Blue Devils won their sixth non-conference game of the season last Monday (12/30). It is the fourth straight year the Blue Devils have won six or more non-conference games. CCSU's .600 winning percentage is the second best non-conference mark under head coach Beryl Piper. The only time the Blue Devils were better in the non-conference slate was in 2010-11 when the team went 7-3 (.700). The Blue Devils were also 4-0 at home in non-conference, the third time under Piper that CCSU has had a perfect record at home heading into NEC play.

Late Win Over Hofstra • The Blue Devils dropped the Hofstra Pride with a late jumper by Nicole Ferguson at the buzzer. It was Ferguson's only basket of the game. Juniors Kaley Watras (eight points) and Johnna Fisher (six points) teamed up to score 14 of CCSU's 16 points over the final five minutes of the first half to pull the Blue Devils back into the game. Watras finished with a game-high 22 points.

What Matters Now • The New Year brings conference games and the hunt for the NEC Tournament. The top eight teams based on regular season winning percentage in NEC contests will earn a spot in the NEC Tournament, which will be played on March 9, 12 and 16.

Quiet December • The Blue Devils played just four games in December. It is the fewest the program has played in the year's final month since the December 1988. The Blue Devils played four games in the 12th month in three season 2013-14, 1988-89 and 1987-88.

45% = Wins • The Blue Devils are 5-0 this season when shooting 45% or better from the field.

Great at Home • CCSU starts the 2013-14 home campaign at 4-0, a familiar spot for the Blue Devils who were 11-3 at home last season, including 8-1 in NEC home games. This is nothing new for CCSU who is 33-11 at home over the last three plus seasons. Under head coach Beryl Piper the Blue Devils are 5-2 in home openers, with four straight home opener victories.