The Central Connecticut women's basketball team fell in its season opener, 61-51, at Dartmouth Friday night. Senior Aleah Epps recorded a double-double, leading the Blue Devils with game-highs of 19 points and 15 rebounds. Central falls to 0-1 on the season while the Big Green moves to 1-0.
The Blue Devils traded baskets with Dartmouth during the first quarter, fueled by a pair of three-pointers from sophomore Sydney Hines, both coming in the last three minutes of the quarter. The Blue Devils held a 14-13 lead after the first quarter.
Dartmouth went 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the second period, and outrebounded the Blue Devils, 12-9, to help take a 30-28 lead at halftime. Epps and sophomore forward Andi Lydon snagged eight and seven rebounds, respectively, at the halfway point.
Sophomore Kiana Patterson and Lydon connected on back-to-back three pointers to fuel the Blue Devil offense early in the third quarter. A jumper by Epps would give CCSU a 38-37 lead, but Dartmouth would build a 47-41. Epps scored four straight to close the period, including a pull-up jumper at the buzzer to get CCSU within, 47-45.
Epps went coast-to-coast finishing a tough layup with 7:15 to go in the fourth, to cut the Blue Devil deficit to 50-47. On the next possession, the senior guard saved the ball from going out of bounds and found Lydon, which resulted in a turn-around jumpshot in the paint, to bring CCSU within, 50-49, with 5:47 to play.
Dartmouth's Fanni Szabo scored seven of her 16 points in the final quarter and the Big Green would outscore Central, 11-2 down the stretch for the final margin.
On the night, Lydon grabbed 12 rebounds to go with nine points, three assists, and no turnovers in 36 minutes of play. Patterson contributed two assists and steals.
Dartmouth held a slight advantage on the boards over Central, 45-44. The Blue Devils went 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) from the charity stripe, as well as a 6-of-19 (31.6%) effort from downtown.
Isalys Quinones claimed a double-double for the Big Green, taking in 12 rebounds and 11 points in the victory. Darmouth shot 22-of-60 (36.7 percent) from the field, while holding CCSU to 18-of-64 (28.1 percent).
Epps's 15 rebounds, and Lydon's 12 rebounds, three assists, and 36 minutes of play, mark new career-highs for the two Blue Devils.
Central will return to the hardwood with their home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 16, against the Hartford Hawks in a 7:00 p.m. tip off at Detrick Gymnasium.