The Central Connecticut women's basketball team earned a 71-66 overtime victory over the Terriers of St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon at Detrick Gym. The Blue Devils (9-8, 3-4 NEC) and Terriers (13-5, 4-3 NEC) were knotted at 57-57 at the end of regulation, but 14 points in overtime, including seven from senior Jessica Babe, gave CCSU a 71-66 victory.
The Blue Devils trailed by five with two minutes left in regulation, but with 1:21 left to play sophomore Nicole Ferguson connected on a game-tying three-pointer off a pass from Babe. Ferguson's shot had been set up by a pair of free throws from sophomore TeJahne Malone.
A jumper by Babe with 25 seconds remaining gave the Blue Devils a 57-55 edge, but the Terriers answered with a basket by Eilidh Simpson that tied the game and forced overtime.
Less than two minutes into overtime the Blue Devils secured the lead for good with a pair of free throws by sophomore Kayla Miller. Babe followed with a basket and free throw to increase the lead to four points.
The Terriers continued to close the gap, but a three-pointer and then a free throw from Babe iced the game over the final 25 seconds.
The Terriers held a 28-25 lead at the half, behind a 12-of-24 shooting effort from the field. Babe and Ferguson each scored five points in the first half to lead the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils posted a season-high 16 steals and forced the Terriers into 21 total turnovers. However, the Blue Devils also turned the ball over 22 times.
Malone (13) and Ferguson (11) joined Babe with double-digit points. Malone did most of her scoring at the free throw line where she was 9-of-11 on the day. Ferguson was four-of-six from the floor and 3-of-5 from behind the arc.
Senior Brooke Bailey also had a strong game for the Blue Devils with six points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
Senior Lauren Arbogast led all players with eight rebounds. Bailey (7), Malone (7), senior Jaleen Thomas (6) and Arbogast were all strong on the glass and helped CCSU take a 44-30 advantage on the boards.
Arbogast was also responsible for five of CCSU's steals.
The Blue Devils finished the game 25-of-60 (41.7%) from the field and 4-of-16 (25%) from three. St. Francis shot 23-of-55 (41.8%) and 5-of-17 (29.4%) from behind the arc.
The Blue Devils return to action on Monday night at Detrick Gym. The Mountaineers of Mount St. Mary's will visit New Britain for a 7 p.m. tip-off.