New Britain, Conn.— The Sacred Heart women's basketball team picks up its first conference win today over Central Connecticut State University, defeating the Blue Devils 53-40 to improve their record to 6-1 on the year.
Two tough defenses came to play today. Both teams forced turnovers before scoring even began. The Pioneers struck first on a layup by Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, Ariz.).
After Jaclyn Babe answered with two of her own, the Pioneer defense kicked into full force and held a strong CCSU team for four minutes between baskets. In those minutes, Sacred Heart knocked down four buckets, including threes from Washington and Callan Taylor (Overland Park, Kan.).
Washington definitely had the hot hand in the first half, lighting up the scoreboard with 15 points, half of the Pioneers' first half score. In the first half alone, she tied her career-high in scoring.
The Pioneers headed into the half with an eight point lead, 30-22.
The Blue Devils knocked first in the second half when Kirsten Daamen laid one in for two points. Taylor and Enjoli Bland (Queen Creek, Ariz.) responded with a layup each to increase the Pioneer's lead 34-24.
Second half play was about as even as possible between the in-state rivals. The Pioneers just edged out the Blue Devils 20-18, thanks to last minute free throws by Taylor. Daamen led CCSU's scoring in the half, putting nine points on the board in her 16 minutes on the floor.
Taylor closed the game strong, adding eight points to the Pioneers' lead by making six of eight foul shots in the last 1:13 of the game.
The defense played on both ends of the court was intense. The Pioneers forced 22 turnovers, while CCSU forced 19.
Washington added two sticks to her game total, bringing her to 17 points, a new career-high for the freshman.
Sacred Heart continues conference on Monday when they head to Hamden, Conn. to play Quinnipiac at 7:00 p.m.