Women’s Basketball Winning Streak Ends

Andrew DeCapua, Sports Editor

After wining consecutive games for the first time, all-season, the Central Connecticut State University women’s basketball team lost to Wagner College, 65-58, at home in Detrick Gymnasium on Saturday, February 19.

Senior Eden Nibbelink drilled a three to start the game; after that, the Blue Devils were held to just six more points in the first quarter and trailed the Seahawks 17-9 at the end of the first.

Wagner continued their hot shooting in the second quarter while CCSU struggled. The Seahawks shot 11 for 17 and outscored the Blue Devils 24-7 in the second quarter.

The Blue Devils went into the locker room at halftime, trailing by 41-16. Interim head coach Kerri Reaves emphasized, to the team, the need to get after it on defense in the second half and gave all the credit to the players for fighting their way back into the game.

“We needed to get stops before we get scores. We were giving up a lot of transition buckets in the first half and not really hitting the glass too hard,” Reaves said. “We can only encourage them to do it. They chose to really step up and take hold of their responsibilities and get it done in the second half. All the praise goes to them.”

The Blue Devils came out of the half energized and played with an increased level of intensity. They forced the Seahawks to turn the ball over, and that allowed the Blue Devils to cut into Wagner’s big lead.

Senior Forever Toppin nailed two straight buckets to start the third quarter to jump-start the Blue Devils offense and begin the comeback attempt.

After trailing by 25-points to start the third quarter, the Blue Devils were able to narrow the Seahawks lead to 20-points at the start of the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils’ comeback started to seem like a possibility. CCSU employed the full-court press and was able to frustrate the Seahawks. Three after three began to fall for CCSU and soon enough they fought their way back and only trailed by only eight with 1:30 left to play.

Freshman Amaya Williams came out in the fourth attacking the basket and drew a foul while making the basket on back-to-back possessions. With just 0:27 left in the game, Williams nailed a three to bring the Blue Devils within four points of the lead.

A turnover by CCSU in the final 0:20 followed by several made free throws by Wagner, halted the Blue Devils’ comeback in its tracks.

Despite the loss, coach Reaves was optimistic about how the team played and encouraged the team’s effort to come off another hard-fought game just two days earlier.

“I think playing as well as we did today can encourage us that we can do these back-to-back games and play really well down the stretch,” Reaves said. “A lot of encouraging things happened today.”

With just three games left in the regular season, the Blue Devils will go on the road to face Saint Francis University on Thursday, February 24 at 7:00 pm.