Central Conneticut womenâ€™s basketball (2-8, 1-1 in Northeast Conference) picked up a win Saturday afternoon, beating Merrimack 69-53 (4-8, 2-2 in NEC).
The Blue Devil women had a five-point lead through the first quarter, leading 20-15. The lead was maintained at the end of the second quarter as well, even with Merrimack out-scoring Central 22-19.
An Eden Nibbelink jumper with 15 seconds to go in the first half gave Central the lead entering halftime. Both sides traded leads through the second quarter, with Merrimack gaining an advatage that topped out at four points while CCSUâ€™s lead maxed out at six.
An 8-0 run to open the second half with points from Belle Lanpher, Ashley Berube and Dejah Jenkins put CCSU ahead by its largest margin at 44-37. A Mayson Kimball score snapped the run, but Central was able to regain its offensive momentum and keep a 10-point lead at the end of the quarter off an Amaya Williams triple with two seconds left before the horn.
A 9-2 run early in the fourth quarter had Central out in front 64-49, with the exclamation point on the day coming from Nibbelinkâ€™s 3-point score with 1:04 to go.
Nibbelink and Jenkins had 17-point days, sharing the team-high tally. Merrimackâ€™s Kimball had 26 points for the game high.
Berube grabbed 14 rebounds, 11 defensively, and had seven points.
As a team, the Blue Devils led in shooting at 40.6% and rebounds with 49. They comitted 18 turnovers to the Warriorsâ€™ 14.
The win comes after CCSU canceled its last two games due to COVID issues. Before the cancelations, the Blue Devils were losers of four of their last five.