The Mountaineers (7-15) extend their win streak to 2 in an 81-66 rout of the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils (8-14). With this win, the Mount shares fifth place with Bryant University in the NEC standings and moves to 5-6 in the Northeast Conference.
The first quarter featured four steals from the Mount. Two steals each from senior forward, Alexis Carter and first year guard Ashlee White helped to give the Mountaineers the 17- 16 lead going into the second quarter.
In the first quarter, the Mountaineers came away with nine steals compared to the Blue Devil’s one steal. However, the Central Connecticut’s offense came alive and took the lead 39-36, but not before a lay-up off a steal by Carter with 14 seconds left.
The halftime saw the jersey retirement of legendary Mount Women’s Basketball player, Susie Rowlyk (’95). Rowlyk won NEC player of the year twice and was voted the 1994 NEC tournament player. She also led the Mount to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 1994.
The Mountaineer’s record with Rowlyk on the team was 93-21. In NEC match-ups, she led the Mount to 64 wins and only 6 losses. Rowlyk’s number of 35 is the first women’s jersey to be retired in Mount history.
In her acceptance speech, Rowlyk stated, “I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I feel so blessed to have been led here from the blessed mother. And to be led by great coaches and not only in high school and college. I feel completely honored and humbled and most of all completely grateful.”
During the third quarter, the Mountaineers finally found their chance to breakaway as they outscored Central Connecticut 21-11. In addition, this quarter saw graduate guard, Mikal Johnson, Carter, and White score double digits.
Head Coach, Bryan Whitten asked him team to step it up during halftime. “We talked about sticking to our game plan and I didn’t think we being as aggressive as we needed to be. We talked about being more aggressive on the offensive side and more defensive on the defense side,” Whitten explained.
With the Mount, up by 7 points, the Mountaineers only turned up the pressure. The Mountaineers scored the first 4 points of the quarter with lay-ups from junior center, Caroline Hummell and Carter. Central Connecticut did not give up however as they went on a 4-0 run late in the quarter.
Even then, the Mountaineers came up with the victory as they made 11 of their 12 free throws to put the up for good. The Mount had six players score in the double digits and shot 66.7% from the free throw line.
Whitten added that, “We’ve been playing well the last 3 to 4 weeks. We’ve really buckled down, we’re finding our groove, [and] we’re working hard defensively.”