NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Central Connecticut State outscored the University of Maine 18-4 during the last eight minutes Thursday night to come away with a 65-57 women’s basketball victory at Detrick Gymnasium.
Coach Cindy Blodgett’s Black Bears slipped to 0-2 after committing 23 turnovers and allowing the Blue Devils (1-2) to connect for nine of their 10 3-point field goals in the first half.
“In the first half we gave up 42 points to a team that’s averaging 52 points a game. We had our defensive problems in the first half,” Blodgett said.
CCSU scored 20 points as a result of UMaine turnovers in the game and also tallied 17 second-chance points on the strength of 14 offensive rebounds.
UMaine returns to action Sunday with a 2 p.m. game against Massachusetts at the Augusta Civic Center.
Sophomore Tanna Ross of Newburgh paced the UMaine offense with 13 points, while junior point guard Kristin Baker of Bingham contributed a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. She also handed out seven assists, but committed six turnovers.
Junior Brittany Boser chipped in with 10 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots, and freshman center Samantha Baranowski added nine points for the Bears, who shot 42 percent from the field but went 11-for-18 from the foul line.
UMaine outrebounded CCSU 39-32, while the Blue Devils committed 16 turnovers.
“Our defensive effort the second half was much, much better but our execution offensively struggled,” said Blodgett, whose team held CCSU to 25 points after intermission on 29 percent floor shooting.
Shontice Simmons sparked CCSU with a game-high 15 points and five assists. Emily Rose netted nine points, while Gabrielle Oglesby and P.J. Wade added eight points each.
The hosts went 10-for-29 from 3-point range, including 9-for-17 in the first 20 minutes while building a 40-32 halftime lead.
Colleen Kilmurray’s foul-line jumper with 9:04 to play gave the Bears a 53-47 advantage. However, UMaine struggled offensively from that point on and went scoreless on its next seven possessions, which included three turnovers.
CCSU eventually regained the lead when Crockett scored from inside with 4:24 remaining to make it 55-54. The Bears continued to struggle with turnovers and poor shooting and the Blue Devils capitalized.
Simmons’ runner with 1:22 to play gave the hosts a five-point lead at 61-56 and the Bears were unable to make a late run.
“These kinds of games happen when you need to get a rebound here or there, or you need to get a defensive stop or execute on offense,” Blodgett said.