The Central Connecticut women's basketball team could not recover from a slow start at Robert Morris Monday night inside Charles L. Sewall Center in Moon Township, PA. Despite getting dominated on the glass, 42-29, the Colonials took advantage of the Blue Devils 26 turnovers, topping them, 55-46. Senior Aleah Epps and sophomore Andi Lydon recorded double-doubles for CCSU, with Epps tallying a game-high 18 points/10 rebounds, and Lydon notching 10 points/10 rebounds.
Central Connecticut's record moves to (7-12) and (6-2) in the conference, while RMU improves to (10-9) on the year and (5-3) in league play. The Blue Devils shot 32.6% from the floor, and made 12-for-13 of their free throw attempts on the night.
CCSU was held scoreless for the first 3:42 of the game, until Epps refused a ball screen and finished at the rim to ignite a 6-0 run. The Colonials forced seven CCSU turnovers, to their own five, in the opening 10 minutes of action. After trading baskets for majority of the quarter, Lydon drained a shot from downtown off of an assist from Epps, to give Central an 11-9 lead.
Senior Giocelis Reynoso converted the old-fashioned three point play, just one minute into the second quarter to put CCSU up by five, which would prove to be their largest lead of the game. However, RMU stole the momentum with back-to-back three-pointers give themselves a 17-14 lead.
The Colonials grabbed their largest lead of the first half (22-14) when Rebecca Navarro found Shakema Dashiell who hit a three-pointer with 4:14 left until halftime. The Blue Devil's locked down on defense, allowing only two points by their opponent for the rest of the quarter. With 0.29 to go, Epps found a back-door cutting Patterson, who then kicked the ball out Lydon, CCSU's leading scorer in conference, for her second three.
At the break, Central trailed Robert Morris, 24-21, and connected 33.3% from the floor on 7-of-21 shooting. Epps and Lydon carried the offense with eight points a piece.
CCSU began the second half with a 7-4 run to tie the score up at 28, brought on by five straight points from sophomore Kiana Patterson. The Blue Devils switched to a 2-3 zone defense in the third quarter, causing the Colonials to struggle from the field, going 4-for-18 (22.2%), and 0-for-8 from three. RMU's only offensive production came in transition off of Central's mistakes.
The score was tied for the eighth time, 34-34, at the end of the third quarter.
At 8:55 in the fourth, Reynoso drew two Colonial defenders, and found Lydon on the perimeter who swung the ball to rookie Ashley Chin for three, giving CCSU the lead 39-35. RMU's Anna Nikki Stamolamprou responded then responded with a three of her own.
Following the media timeout at 4:46, the Robert Morris let CCSU grab four extra chances off of its own misses which resulted in an Epps lay in, cutting the lead to 44-41. After a Stamolamprou trifecta, and two missed Colonial foul shots, the Blue Devils leading free throw shooter, Epps, knocked down a pair, to make it a two point game, 47-45.
However, Stamolamprou would then make her third three of the quarter with 21 seconds to go to seal the victory. Central was limited to just 25.0% shooting in the final 10 minutes, and the Colonials accumulated a total of of 27 points off of turnovers, compared to just four by CCSU.
Reynoso finished the night with 10 boards. Megan Smith led Robert Morris with 14 points and eight rebounds.
The New Britain squad will next welcome the Bryant Bulldogs to Detrick Gymnasium to complete the first cycle of conference play. The game is set to tip off on Saturday, January 28 at 1:00 p.m.