Women’s Basketball Drops Fourth Straight Games

George Attwood, Assistant Sports Editor

A win over Wagner College in late January gave Central Connecticut Women’s Basketball an outside chance of reaching the Northeast Conference post-season. However, four straight losses make this a challenging task. The Blue Devils continued their three-game road trip against Saint Francis University and Bryant University. Central lost these games 72-68 and 59-47 respectively.

In the game against SFU, the Blue Devils went into halftime with the score 31-29. Central started the game strong on both sides of the ball as they hit back-to-back threes and forced two turnovers in the opening three minutes. The Blue Devils went on a 15-2 run and took and took a 21-10 lead with 1:42 left in the first. CCSU shot an impressive 5-9 (.556) from behind the arc in the opening 10 minutes. Coming off the bench, junior Tiffany Slicklein went 2-2 from three.

Senior Bruna Vila Artigues spoke of how the teams lack of confidence translates into their inability to close out games.

“We have problems closing games, I think we lack in confidence, it’s hard to be confident and positive when we keep losing games but we’re doing things right,” Vila Artigues said. “Even when we do things well, this doesn’t translate to results on paper which doesn’t help with our confidence. I’m proud of the team for powering through the adversity.”

At the start of the third quarter, things started to unravel for the Blue Devils. The Red Flash went on an 11-2 run to turn the game on its head and give Saint Francis a five-point lead. The Red Flash sank its first five shots of the final quarter and led 61-51 with 4:54 left in the game.

Junior Ashley Forker scored five of her nine points in the final 22.5 seconds of the game, including a three that put CCSU down 69-68 with 12 seconds left, but Saint Francis went 7-8 from the foul line in the last 30 seconds to secure the win.

Slicklein hit a season-high 14 points in just 15 minutes of action. She went 3-3 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Forever Toppin was the only other Blue Devil to hit double figures, as she finished with a career-high 11 points.

The second game of the week saw CCSU travels to Rhode Island in the first of back-to-back games against the Bulldogs. The Blue Devils were lead by Vila Artigues who dropped 11 points, just two shy of her career-high. She was the only player to hit double figures for Central.

“I think as soon as I hit my first three, I got a lot more confident and I wasn’t thinking about the shot, I was just going for it,” Vila Artigues said. “I felt more confident in my offensive game and that’s something I have been lacking in. We’re all better when we’re feeling confident.”

Unlike the game against the Red Flash, the game against the Bulldogs didn’t start well for Central as Bryant opened the game with an 8-1 scoring run. It took CCSU until 4:28 to score its first field goal of the game when junior Emma McCamus hit a lay-up. McCamus would go on to finish the game with nine points and four steals. Central closed the second quarter with nine straight points off triples by Vila Artigues and Jewel Porter.

The Bulldogs outscored the Blue Devils 19-13 in the third. Central entered the last 10 minutes of play trailing 47-39. The Blue Devils would only be able to drop eight fourth-quarter points and any form of a comeback.

CCSU sank seven triples throughout the game, including a perfect 4-4 from beyond the arc in the second quarter.

Central falls to 1-11 in conference play and 2-21 overall. The Blue Devils’ next game is against Bryant at home on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Bruna Vila Artigues is part of The Recorder staff.