New Britain, Conn (February 7, 2015) -- Despite a game-high 19 points from senior Jacqueline Brewer (Martinsburg, W.Va.), the Mount St. Mary's women's basketball team's second-half comeback fell short in a 60-49 loss at Northeast Conference leading Central Connecticut at Detrick Gymnasium on Saturday.
Mount St. Mary's (7-15, 5-6 NEC), which trailed Central Connecticut (14-8, 10-1 NEC) by 10 points with four minutes remaining, cut the deficit down to just three at 52-49 with 2:31 to play before the Blue Devils scored the final eight points to pull away.
The Mount forced the first-place Blue Devils into 21 turnovers, but was outrebounded by a 42-23 margin on the afternoon. CCSU was led by a double-double from Tejahne Malone with 18 points and 14 rebounds, with Kayley Watras adding 16 points off the bench.
Mount St. Mary's seized control from the get-go with the first seven points of the game. Jessica Harris (Woodbridge, Va.) drilled a three off the opening tip before back-to-back layups from Sarafina Arthur-Williams (Potomac, Md.) and Jody Chickey (Bethlehem, Pa.) in the first 1:05 of the game.
Central Connecticut turned the ball over four times in the first three minutes and was scoreless for the first 3:54 until Nicole Ferguson's three got the Blue Devils on the board.
The Mountaineers would maintain the edge throughout the first 13 minutes until Watras knocked down a three with 6:23 showing on the first half clock for a 19-17 lead.
After CCSU took its biggest lead of the half at 21-17 on the next possession, Brewer hit back-to-back three pointers to help the Mount retake the advantage at 23-21 with 3:30 left before halftime.
The Mount, which forced the Blue Devils into 13 first-half turnovers, went into the locker rooms tied at 25-25.
The Mountaineers again started the half well and took a five-point lead 4:10 into the half at 36-31 when Brewer buried another three. Over the next 8:30 however, the Blue Devils regained the upper hand with an 18-5 run to take a 49-41 lead. During the stretch, CCSU kept the Mount scoreless for more than four minutes from the 9:01 mark until a free throw from Kathleen Belanger-Finn (Saint-Lambert, Quebec) with 4:49 remaining.
The Mount battled back and forced a shot clock violation with 3:25 remaining, leading to a Brewer layup to cut it to 52-46 with just over three minutes left. Brewer's three after an Arthur-Williams steal cut the deficit down to 52-49, but the Mount went 0-for-5 from the field the rest of the way.
With one second left on the shot clock for CCSU, Watras scooped a one-handed layup for a 54-49 lead with 1:17 left, and the Blue Devils made six free throws in the final minute to hold on for the win.
Offensively, the Mountaineers received an additional seven points from Harris and Jenn Carney (Drexel Hill, Pa.), while Chickey dished out five assists.
The Mount will remain in New England to take on Bryant on Monday, Feb. 9, in Smithfield, R.I.
GAME NOTES: The Mount had won four in a row over CCSU entering Saturday… The Mount's all-time record versus Central Connecticut falls to 22-11... The two sides split the season series with the Mount winning the first meeting, 54-50, on Jan. 12 at Knott Arena.