Women's Basketball Falls At CCSU, 72-68; Mount To Travel To No. 2 Quinnipiac For NEC Tournament On Saturday
Jessie Kaufman (Damascus, Md./Damascus) paced the Mount (14-15, 10-8 NEC) with 19 points. Selina Mann (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) posted 12 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals while Ashley Christie (Miamisburg, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) also had 12 points in the loss.
Jaclyn Babe fueled the Blue Devils (13-16, 7-11 NEC) with 19 points. Kaley Watras added 14 points, Kirsten Daamen had 12 points, Jessica Babe posted 11 points and Lauren Arbogast chipped in 10 points in the winning effort.
Central Connecticut used a big run to take the lead in the first half and held on after a couple of Mount St. Mary's comeback attempts to spoil the Mount's hopes of hosting a home game or notching a higher seed in the upcoming NEC Tournament.
The Blue Devils closed the first half on a 21-9 run to grab to the lead for good and take a 33-23 advantage going into the locker room.
After Kaufman gave the Mount a 14-12 lead on a jumper at 11:59, the Blue Devils scored the next five points. Arbogast tied the game on a jumper at 11:08 before Watras hit the second of two free throws at 10:23 and Jessica Babe nailed a jumper at 9:58 for a 17-14 lead.
Lonergan and Daamen traded baskets and Christie and Jessica Babe traded 3-pointers. Lonergan trimmed the margin to 22-21 with 7:23 left, but Central Connecticut State closed the half by scoring 11 of the 13 points to grab a 33-23 lead at the break. Watras and Jaclyn Babe each had four points in the run.
The Mountaineers started the second half almost like it started the game with an 11-2 run to trim the deficit to 36-35 with 16:45 left. Rachel Mathews (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) started the run with layup at 19:36 before Kaufman drained a trey at 18:58. Mann made two free throws at 18:09, but Johnna Fisher answered with a layup at 17:48. Mathews then hit a jumper at 17:26 and Kaufman drained a 3-ball at 16:45 to make it a one-point game.
Central Connecticut State responded with a 12-2 to run to restore a double-digit advantage. Daamen had six points in the spurt.
The Blue Devils held a 60-50 lead with 3:11 lead before Mount St. Mary's went on 7-1 run to trim the deficit to four points. Mann hit a jumper at 2:53 before Jaclyn Babe hit 1 of 2 at the line at 2:30. Christie then nailed a trey and Sydney Henderson (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) hit two at the free throw line to trim the margin to 61-57 with 1:47 left. The Mount would cut the margin to four points four more times, but could get no closer.
Mount St. Mary's opened the game by scoring the first eight points. Mann got the scoring started with a jumper 32 seconds into the game before Henderson and Kaufman each drained treys at 18:55 and 18:27, respectively. The Blue Devils then scored 17 of the next 23 points to take the lead and would go into the locker room with the advantage and never looked back for the victory.
The last time the Mount played Central Connecticut State in the regular season finale was in 2005-06 when the Mountaineers could have improved its playoff standing, but fell to the Blue Devils 70-55 on Mar. 1, 2006 and Mount St. Mary's dropped to the No. 7seed that season as well.
The Mount will be making its 21st appearance in 23 years in the NEC Tournament when the squad travels to Quinnipiac on Saturday. The Bobcats won the lone meeting this season 89-73 on Jan. 30.