DARIEN -- There's nothing like a home upset to right the ship.

Coming off four consecutive losses Darien needed a win in a bad way and Friday the Blue Wave played consistent basketball for the duration of it's contest with Fairfield Ludlowe and came away with a 51-44 victory.

"We needed our eighth win for states, we had a lot to play for tonight and the girls felt that," Darien coach Katie Lauten said. "We're always motivated to do well and knowing that Ludlowe was right ahead of us gave us a little extra boost tonight. We've had a tough couple games but we didn't want that to define us, we wanted to show that we're still absolutely a contender."

Darien (8-10, 8-8 FCIAC) took its first lead in the second quarter and didn't relinquish it the rest of the way. Ludlowe, behind very efficient 3-point shooting kept within striking distance but the offensive combination of Darien's Erin Karczewski (11 points) and Katie Ramsey (18) were too much for the Falcons to handle down the stretch.

"They've been clicking very well," Lauten said of the duo. "They know how to find each other; it's always different people that step up every game and it was great that those two found a rhythm."

Trailing by four with two minutes remaining Ludlowe coach Sarah Huntington called a timeout and Lauten used that time to motivate her team. She reminded the Blue Wave that whoever wanted it more would come away with the victory.

"It was going to come down to who was going to work harder, the mental and physical aspects both had to be there," Lauten said. "They had very good shooters so we had to make sure their 3 point shooters didn't get off easy shots and make sure we completely played those last two minutes."

On the other side Huntington was hoping her Falcons (10-8, 9-7) would step up its defense, something that hindered Ludlowe all night.

"Our defense was terrible tonight," Huntington said. "I love my team, I love my girls, but we let people cut in front of us, we didn't box out, we didn't do a lot of stuff tonight and it's just disappointing to come out like that when we just had two really great practices, so we've got a lot of work to do."

The Falcons rebounded with a win over Westhill Wednesday to reach the FCIAC tournament, which begins Saturday. Ludlowe plays top-seeded Wilton at Westhill High School at 7 p.m.

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

Darien 51, Ludlowe 44

DARIEN (8-10, 8-8)

Kendra Fitzpatrick 2 2-2 8 Kaeleigh Morrill 1 0-0 2 Katie Richter 3 0-2 6 Erin Kaczewski 4 3-6 11 Emily Coyle 2 0-0 6 Katie Ramsey 8 2-3 18. Totals: 20 7-13 51.


Julia Colica 1 1-3 3 Peyton Brown 1 0-0 3 Julia Pangallo 3 1-2 10 Regan Steed 2 3-4 8 Caroline Pangallo 1 0-0 3 Alex McKinnon 2 1-2 5 Caroline Yates 0 2-2 2 Charlotte Blatt 1 0-0 2 Trish Auray 3 0-0 8. Totals: 14 8-13 44.

DARIEN 11 15 10 15--51

FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 12 10 9 13--44

3-pointers: D--Fitzpatrick 2, Coyle 2; FL--Brown, J Pangallo 3, Steed, C Pangallo, Auray 2.