Women’s Basketball Earn Lone Victory Over Winter Break

Trevi Alickolli, Sports Editor

Schedule makers were not kind to the Central Connecticut Women’s Basketball team as they faced one of the toughest stretches in their schedule, a four-game road trip away from Detrick Gymnasium during winter break.

During a tough season to date, Head Coach Beryl Piper acknowledged the upcoming challenge months in advance.

“We have a tough schedule, we have a tough non-conference schedule,” Piper said. “It’s not easy. It’s a tough swing.”

While the Blue Devils had a rocky start to the break, they finished out the road trip with their first win of the season and a milestone for their head coach.

Following three straight losses on the road, Central bounced back for its first victory, beating the University of Hartford 61-54. Against the Hawks, the Blue Devils had two double-digit scorers from Junior center Ashley Berube and Junior forward Ashley Forker.

Berube scored a season-high 25 points while shooting 50% from the floor. She also hit her second three-pointer of the season while going a perfect 8 for 8 from the charity stripe.

Every point mattered from Berube as the Hawks battled late but she scored nine straight for Central during the last six minutes of the fourth quarter.

The 25 points are one shy of her career-high.

Berube also had eight rebounds and one block, but she was not the leading rebounder for Central like she typically is.

Forker was the leading rebounder with 13 on the day, a career-high, and five of the boards came on the offensive side of the floor. She also scored 16 points while also shooting a perfect 9 for 9 from the free-throw line and led the team in assists with six.

The Blue Devils held the Hawks to just 26.3% from the field, 20% from downtown and only allowed their opponent to get 10 free-throw attempts.

Central had 15 assists on 18 made field goals and only 11 turnovers through the entire game.

Not only did Central finish the calendar year in the win column, but it also secured win number 150 for its head coach Beryl Piper.

Before the Blue Devils got their first victory, before they hit the road, they began the winter break facing the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Dec. 5, at home, where Central lost 56-54 on a last-second game-winner but outperformed the River Hawks in nearly every statistical category.

Central shot better from the field (38.2% to 37.3%), made more three-pointers while shooting better from deep, out-rebounded their opponent and had more assists than UMass Lowell.

The Blue Devils had 18 assists on 21 field goals made.

Berube led the way in the box score for the Blue Devils, scoring 19 points on 7 of 11 shooting and hauled in 10 rebounds. She also recorded as assist, a steal and for blocks, which tied a season-high.

Forker was the second-leading scorer with 12 points on 5 of 11 from the field and dished out a season and career-high 10 assists, securing her first double-double of the season at the time.

Following the close game, the Blue Devils would go on to lose their next three games on the road by double digits each matchup.

Central fell to the University of New Hampshire 70-59 on Dec. 8, Florida Atlantic University 72-54 on Dec. 15, and Florida Gulf Coast University 94-60 on Dec. 17. The loss against the Eagles was the most lopsided loss of the season for Central.

Following their victory over the Hartford Hawks, the Blue Devils opened up Northeastern Conference play with four games that spanned from Jan. 2 to Jan. 11.

Central opened its conference schedules with two straight home games against Robert Morris University and Saint Francis University. They lost both games, 86-56 and 64-52 respectively.

Junior guard Emma McCamus scored 13 points against the Colonials, the sixth time this season she hit double figures scoring.

In a losing effort to Sacred Heart University, Berube scored 16 points and collected a career-high 18 rebounds.

Berube then continued her hot streak against Merrimack College, scoring 20 points in a 65-56 loss. At the time, Berube had scored in double figures in her last six games (now eight straight).

Point guard Bruna Vila Artigues had a season-high six assists and a career-high seven rebounds.

As a team, the Blue Devils outscored the Warriors in the paint and won the rebound battle.

Central is currently 1-16 on the season (0-6 NEC) and will finish the season with only conference games remaining.