The St. Francis Terriers entered the game on a three-game losing streak, but they put an end to that as they were led by Sarah Benedetti, who scored 17 points, during a 71-50 blowout win over Central Connecticut in Brooklyn Heights on Saturday.
“It felt really great to win especially in that manner,” Benedetti said. “We came out and played our game and it just felt good to put our hard work together and get back on track.”
Benedetti was hot early when she gave the Terriers a 9-6 lead on a layup early in the first. She then made it an eight-point lead when she hit a three off a feed from Jasmin Robinson. Her three with 2:35 in the half made it 29-18 St. Francis. She kept the three-ball going in the second half as she hit three down the stretch. Her last shot came with 6:12 left and gave the Terriers a 27-point lead.
“Sarah has kind of been in a slump since the start of conference play so it was good to see her play that was,” Terrier coach John Thurston said. “When Sarah is making shots other teams get discouraged because she has such amazing range.”
Just about everyone chipped in for the win. Katie Fox and Jessica Kaufman each had 10 points, Eilidh Simpson had nine and Jaymee Veney had seven and four steals. Thurston singled out small contributions by Casey Cummings, Colette Hounshell and Kiley Grabbe as difference making.
“That was the difference in the first half when Casey, Colette and Kiley each made two free throws,” Thurston said. “That was six points. That was the difference in the scoring in the first half. Everyone has a chance to contribute. If they go out and go 3-for-6 then it’s an entirely different game. Those six points from our post players were huge.”
The Terriers might have only led by six at the half, but they came out big in the second half and quickly put Central Connecticut away with a 36-12 run.
“No one likes to lose,” Thurston said. “It always feels good to win, to win at home, and to win convincingly. I’m happy for the girls because they were kind of down and they responded.”
The Terriers improved to 14-6 overall and 5-4 in Northeast Conference play with the win. They play again at home on Tuesday when they host Fairleigh Dickinson and then go on a four-game road trip starting with Robert Morris on Saturday.