NEW BRITAIN - It may have been below freezing outside Detrick Gymnasium but the Central Connecticut State women’s basketball team was on fire inside behind the arc.
The Blue Devils shot 9-for-15 from 3-point distance en route to their first win of the season as they beat Wagner 59-56 on Sunday afternoon.
“We know that teams are coming in saying ‘oh this team is pretty much defeated and they can’t win a game,’” said CCSU senior forward Brianna Jacobs, who scored a career-high 14 points off the bench. “We try to come out every game giving it our best because there’s always that one team that’s going to doubt us.”
While CCSU (1-12, 1-1) held a 24-23 lead at the half, it entered the final quarter of play down 47-43.
As the Blue Devils inched closer to the Seahawks looking to regain the lead, Morgan Johnson stood in the corner with an open 3-point opportunity. Her teammate, Emma McCamus, found Johnson for the look as she kicked the ball out and Johnson drilled the 3, tying the game up 51-51.
Then, it was McCamus with the assist once again, this time to Jacobs down low, who delivered a go-ahead layup to put CCSU 53-51.
While the Seahawks would tie it up at 53-53, they never regained the lead as the Blue Devils hung strong on defense.
After trailing 13-7 at the end of the first quarter, the turnaround for CCSU began in the second quarter.
The Blue Devils started it out on a 9-0 run with four different Blue Devils coming away with points.
Kiana Patterson hit a 3-pointer, while Andi Lydon, Jacobs and Taylor Goode also scored on the run.
“We know we’re a shooting team,” said Lydon, who scored a team-high 16 points. “Some games we haven’t been hitting them like we can but once we’re on, we’re on. We pass the ball to get the defense moving and we get open shots and those are big momentum changes. It gets our bench hyped up and everybody excited as well.”
CCSU outscored Wagner 17-10 in the second quarter to take a 24-23 lead into the half.
As a team, CCSU dominated the offensive boards in the first half with nine. The Bobcats had just four offensive rebounds.
From deep, the Blue Devils shot 50 percent hitting four of their eight 3s. Wagner didn’t hit any of its six 3 point attempts.
While CCSU dominated the offensive boards, Wagner controlled the paint and was the more efficient team. The Seahawks had 18 points in the paint while CCSU scored a meager six points.
Lydon led the Blue Devils in first half scoring with seven points and knocked down both her foul shots. Ashley Forker led CCSU with five rebounds and added three assists.
Morgan Lenahan led Wagner in first half scoring with seven points while Sierra Clark had nine of the team’s 17 boards.
In the second half, the Seahawks once again controlled the first period of play.
The third quarter was the highest scoring quarter of all with 43 total points and the Seahawks outscored the Blue Devils 24-19 in the third.
With the big offensive quarter for Wagner, CCSU had to come back in the final quarter of play and did just that. In total, nine different Blue Devils players scored.
“We’re 1-1,” CCSU head coach Beryl Piper said afterward. “I don’t think anybody’s gonna look at [the win] like [it’s a big deal]. But for us, it’s happy New Year and going into the New Year with a plan, we got to battle every night and be ready to play.”
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org