NEW BRITAIN - The Central Connecticut womenâ€™s basketball teamâ€™s early season struggles carried over to its NEC opener Friday night.
The Blue Devils managed to erase a 12-point first half deficit only to allow a 17-6 fourth-quarter run to Mount St. Maryâ€™s as they dropped their conference opener 68-56.
The Mountaineers capitalized on back-to-back CCSU turnovers with six straight points to start the final quarter of play and build up a 59-50 lead. Kiana Patterson answered with her third 3-pointer of the night for the Blue Devils (0-12, 0-1), but Mount St. Maryâ€™s proved to be too much.
Patterson finished with 11 points, while Mount senior Caroline Hummell scored a game-high 21 points.
Down 30-29 at the half, CCSU went on a 15-0 run to start the third quarter before Hummell ended it by scoring on three of the Mountaineersâ€™ next four possessions.
The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter as Mount St. Maryâ€™s took a 51-47 lead into the final 10 minutes of play.
The first half proved to be just as frustrating for the Blue Devils.
The Mountaineers led 20-14 after the first quarter thanks to three 3s and ending the period on a 12-4 run. CCSUâ€™s Ashley Berube began the second quarter with an offensive put back, but Mount St. Maryâ€™s pulled away again after an 8-0 run.
But the Blue Devils managed to make the end of the first half competitive.
Freshman Tiffany Slicklein came through with an old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:23 left in the second quarter and finished a feed from junior Sydney Hines one minute later to cut the lead down to five points. A running jump shot from Hines followed by a steal and pass ahead to sophomore Ashley Chin, who finished the play in transition, completed an 11-0 CCSU spurt to conclude the first half.
That fourth quarter, however, turned out to be the difference.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org