The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell to the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights, 74-67 on Saturday afternoon in Hackensack, N.J. The Blue Devils had four players score in double-figures and the bench combined for 39 points.
CCSU (3-10, 0-3 NEC) trailed for 34:41 of the contest but forced 18 FDU turnovers leading to 23 points. Fairleigh Dickinson shot an outstanding 91.3 percent (21-23) from the foul line to improve to 1-2 in conference and 4-10 overall.
The Blue Devils opened the game well offensively shooting 41.2 percent (7-17) from the floor, but struggled to defend the Knights who also started the game hot shooting 60 percent (9-15). After missing a few games due to injury, senior Andi Lydon scored five straight points for Central to cut an early FDU lead, but closed out the first quarter trailing 21-18.
Lauren Francillon dominated the game for the Knights opening the second quarter with five straight points of her own to put FDU up 28-18 with 8:12 left in the first half. The Blue Devils then scored six straight points with baskets from seniors Sydney Hines and Kiana Patterson, and sophomore Tiffany Slicklein. Patterson gave Central some momentum after drilling a three-pointer right as time expired to close the half.
FDU held a 42-35 half time lead shooting 51.6 percent (16-31) from the floor, as Central shot 45.2 percent (14-31) including 3-for-6 (50%) from three-point range.
After allowing back to back baskets to start the second half, Central picked up its intensity forcing six total FDU turnovers in the third. On offense, the Blue Devils pushed the ball leading to two fast break layups by junior Ashley Chin cutting the lead 46-43 with 4:21 to play. Chin and Hines continued to contribute offensively, when Chin hit Hines on a backdoor cut to the basket for an easy score.
Central entered the fourth quarter down 11 and a three-pointer by sophomore Emma McCamus put CCSU within three with 5:53 to go, but the knights forced back to back turnovers pushing the lead to double-digits. A 9-0 run by Central, ending with a made free throw by Lydon, tied the game at 66 with 2:58 to play. Due to its consistent free throw shooting, the Knights went on to pull out the win.
Hines matched her season-high 11 points on 5-of-10 (50.0%) shooting from the floor. Chin matched her career-high totaling 10 points shooting 5-of-9 (55.6%) on the game. Co-captains Lydon and Patterson also hit double-figures for Central, scoring 13 and 14 points respectively. Sophomore Ashley Forker grabbed a career-high nine rebounds for the Blue Devils.
Francillon finished with a double-double for the Knights with 31 points and 16 rebounds along with a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe. Natalie Zamora and Peneil M'Bikata also scored double-figures with 15 and 12 points.
The Blue Devils challenge the Mountaineers of Mount St. Mary's on Monday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. in Emmitsburg, PA.