Central Tripped Up at Sacred Heart in NEC Season Opener

Central Tripped Up at Sacred Heart in NEC Season Opener

The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to the Sacred Heart Pioneers 66-61 in its Northeast Conference season opener inside the William Pitt Center in Fairfield, CT on Saturday.

Senior Kiana Patterson led the Blue Devils with 18 points, five rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

CCSU falls to 3-8 overall and 0-1 in the Northeast Conference, while Sacred Heart improves to 5-7 overall and 1-0 in league play.

Sacred Heart knocked down its first 4-8 shots getting off to an early 9-2 lead by the first media timeout. The first basket for Central came off a steal by sophomore Ashley Forker to who found Patterson sprinting in transition for a layup. Following the timeout, Central went on a 6-0 run with baskets by Patterson, sophomore Emma McCamus, and sophomore Ashley Berube. At the end of the first SHU had a slight four point lead.

Katherine Haines dominated the rest of the first half scoring 10 of the 18 second quarter points for the Pioneers. She shot 3-6 from the floor and 4-4 from the foul line helping SHU take a 31-23 lead at halftime.

At the half, CCSU shot 9-24 (.375) and 5-10 (.500) from the foul line. Berube had 8 points off 4-8 (.500) shooting. Sacred Heart shot 11-35 (.314) including 3-15 (.200) from three-point range. The Pioneers shot a perfect 6-6 from the foul line after the first twenty minutes of play.

Out of the halftime gate, Central went on a 9-0 run shooting 5-8 (.625) from the floor. Forker and junior Bruna Vila Artigues hit back to back baskets and a deep jumper by Patterson gave CCSU its first lead of the game (32-31) with 7:05 left in the third quarter. Both teams traded baskets the rest of the quarter, ending in an even 17-17 spread.

The Blue Devils trailed 48-40 with 10 minutes left to play. Senior Sydney Hines drove to the basket drawing a defender passing the ball to Forker who was wide open on the block for an easy bucket. A deep three by Candice Leatherwood pushed SHU back up 11, 56-45. Despite a final rally by the Blue Devils, the Pioneers went on to win 66-61.

Ashley Berube was one rebound short of another double-double. She totaled 12 points, nine rebounds, and tied her career-high in blocks with five. Forker finished with a season-high 11 points along with five rebounds, three steals, and two assists.

Haines recorded her fourth double-double of the season, matching her season-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Erin Storck had 15 points, six rebounds and Adrianne Hagood finished with 11 points for the Pioneers.

The Blue Devils are back in action Monday, Jan. 7 hosting Wagner for their NEC home opener at 7 p.m.