NEW BRITAIN - Without a win on the season, the CCSU womenâ€™s basketball program was looking for a spark against a strong Yale team on Saturday afternoon.
After scoring just six points in the second quarter, it didnâ€™t seem as if it was going to come in the ninth game of the season.
Then the second half started and the Blue Devils played one of their better halves of the season, outscoring the Bulldogs 44-34.
While CCU fell 75-62, the second half turnaround is a positive in a season that has lacked those.
â€śWith our record, I feel that is a good step in the right direction,â€ť CCSUâ€™s Morgan Johnson said. â€śGoing into our next game weâ€™ve got a whole week to prepare. Weâ€™ve got a lot of time to improve on it, so we canâ€™t hang our heads. We have to keep moving forward.â€ť
A lot of the second half success came because of 3-point shooting.
The Blue Devils hit eight of their 12 3-point attempts in the final half after hitting just two of the eight attempts in the first half.
â€śWe definitely have kids who can knock down the 3-pointer with Kiana [Patterson], Morgan [Johnson] and Andi [Lydon],â€ť CCSU head coach Beryl Piper said.
â€śWe canâ€™t just settle for the three though. I think we need to make sure that weâ€™re getting into the paint and going inside out for those shots because thatâ€™s going to be a better percentage for us than one pass and shoot the ball. But yeah, weâ€™re going to win games if theyâ€™re hitting shots.â€ť
In order to open up looks for the 3-pointers to fall, it started with the guards moving the ball better than they did in the first half.
Starting point guard Patterson also saw ball movement help her find her shot better as she had 17 points in the second half.
â€śWhen weâ€™re getting the ball moving and getting the ball inside out and getting a few more passes rather than one pass and shoot weâ€™re getting wide open looks and theyâ€™re going to go in,â€ť Johnson said. â€śI think the guards did a great job finding our shooters on the perimeter.â€ť
Johnson was 4-for-6 from downtown in the contest.
â€śI think we pushed the ball better in the second half which is always Morganâ€™s shot,â€ť Patterson said. â€śSheâ€™s always ready for that kick out three so we were able to knock those down which gave us a little bit more momentum.â€ť
Patterson led the team with five 3-pointers made in the game on seven attempts.
Overall, the offensive flow in the second half was strong and the defense helped the offense turn the game around but the first half still counts.
If the Blue Devils can begin to sustain that offensive output for a full game, the wins may start to come for the now 0-9 CCSU team.
â€śItâ€™s little things and itâ€™s just trying to put it all together,â€ť Piper said. â€śWe just havenâ€™t been able to put together a complete game yet. Theyâ€™re a good team. They beat TCU. Theyâ€™re definitely a decent team and I thought our kids showed a lot of fight when they were down.
â€śItâ€™s just so frustrating to be down and have to have that fight because it was so far for us to come back.â€ť
Dan Orencole can be reached atÂ 860-973-1811 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org