Hummell, Birkhead Lead Mount St. Mary’s Past Central Connecticut in NEC Opener

Hummell, Birkhead Lead Mount St. Mary’s Past Central Connecticut in NEC Opener

New Britain, Conn. (December 29, 2017) – Caroline Hummell and Bridget Birkhead combined for 35 points to lead Mount St. Mary's to a 68-56 victory at Central Connecticut in the Northeast Conference opener on Friday at Detrick Gymnasium.

Hummell registered a game-high 21 points, with 19 of those coming in the second half, as she collected her second 20-plus point performance of the season. The senior, who went 9-of-13 from the field, also added seven rebounds in the contest. Birkhead went 4-of-7 from three-point range as she finished the night with a career-high 14 points. Juliette Lawless and Kayla Agentowicz added nine points each, and Katrice Dickson chipped in with five points to go along with a career-high 12 rebounds and seven assists.

For Central Connecticut, Kiana Patterson was the lone player to reach double figures with 11 points, while Denisha Gardner added six points and 11 rebounds.

The Mount finished the game shooting 43.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from long range, while CCSU went 29.6 percent from the floor and matched the Mount with a 33.3 percent mark from deep. Mount St. Mary's scored 24 of its 68 points off Blue Devil turnovers.

With the victory, the Mount improved to 4-8 overall and 1-0 in NEC play, while Central Connecticut fell to 0-12 on the year and 0-1 in league.

Mount St. Mary's grabbed its first lead of the contest late in the first period following back-to-back buckets from Agentowicz. Central Connecticut re-took the lead just over a minute later, but the Mount closed out the quarter with the final seven points to open a 20-14 advantage at the end of one quarter of play.

The Mountaineers held the Blue Devils to just four points in the opening six-plus minutes of the second frame as they pushed their lead to 30-18 during the stretch. Birkhead and Dickson combined for the final eight points to cap off the Mount run.

Central Connecticut tightened up on the defensive end in the final minutes of the half, holding the Mount scoreless over the final 3:43 while cutting into the deficit. The Blue Devils closed the half on an 11-0 run to trim the Mount lead to 30-29 at the intermission.

Mount St. Mary's held CCSU to just 28.2 percent shooting in the first half, while the Mountaineers posted a 40.0 percent mark from the field. The Blue Devils were able to keep things close by collecting 13 offensive rebounds and 10 second chance points in the half.

CCSU netted the first basket of the third quarter to take its first lead since the opening frame, and held onto the advantage through much of the stanza.

Late in the period, Birkhead's third three-pointer of the game put the Mount back on top, and Hummell followed with a traditional three-point play to extend the lead to four, 49-45. The teams traded buckets to close out the quarter, as Mount St. Mary's took a 51-47 lead into the fourth.

The Mount scored eight of the opening 11 points of the fourth quarter, led by five from Hummell during the stretch, to open a 59-50 advantage with 5:58 showing on the clock.

Patterson broke up the Mountaineer run with a three-pointer from the wing, but an and-1 conversion from Hummell on the other end pushed the Mountaineers back ahead by nine at the 3:41 mark.

With the Mount holding on to an eight point lead with under two minutes remaining, Agentowicz drove to the basket in the final seconds of the shot clock and laid one off the glass to put the Mount up by double-digits, 64-54. The Mount held CCSU to just one bucket in the final minute to close out the 68-56 victory.

Mount St. Mary's continues Northeast Conference play with a contest at Bryant on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31) at noon. All NEC games are streamed live for free at NECFrontRow.com.