Strong Second Half Paces Pioneers Past Quinnipiac, 80-74
HAMDEN, CT (January 12, 2013) – Sacred Heart senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) scored a season-high 31 points and the Pioneers shot 60.0 percent (15-25) in the second half en route to an 80-74 win over Northeast Conference rival Quinnipiac Saturday afternoon in the TD Bank Sports Center. The win gives the Pioneers a 3-1 start to the NEC schedule, their best-start since a 3-1 mark in 2007-08.
Gibson had a tremendous second half to lead the Pioneers, making six of his nine shots and hitting all nine of his free throws for 24 of his game-high 31 points. It was Gibson's first 30-point game this season and the sixth of his career.
Sophomore Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) had 14 of his 21 points in the first half for the Pioneers and got SHU off on a hot start, scoring 11 of Sacred Heart's first 13 points. After Quinnipiac tied it at 17-17 at the 5:28 mark, SHU used a quick 8-2 spurt that included a long Gibson three to take the lead back for good.
Gibson opened the second half with five quick points inside with a three-point play putting SHU up 34-28. SHU continued to build on the quick start and put together a 15-6 run to open second half, forcing a QU time-out at 15:57 leading 44-32. The Pioneer lead hit 49-34 as senior Justin Swidowski (Cinnaminson, NJ) buried a three at the 14:35 mark.
The Sacred Heart lead peaked at 61-41 on a junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) three-point play at the 7:33 mark. The Bobcats scratched together a 9-0 run capped by a three from Zaid Hearst to force a SHU time-out at 5:43. QU kept scrapping and cut the Pioneer lead to single digits with fewer than four minutes to play.
The Bobcats got to within five at 1:17 as James Ford buried a three to cut it to 70-65. The Pioneers closed out the win at the free throw line as Gibson and Glowiak combined to hit seven of eight at the charity stripe in the minute to keep the Bobcats at bay. SHU made 22-of-28 at the line in the win while QU finished just 14-of-27.
Joining Gibson and Glowiak in double figures was Montes who scored 12 and grabbed seven rebounds.
Quinnipiac hauled in 45 rebounds, 23 offensive caroms that they used to produce 25 second chance points. Forwards Ike Azotam and Jamee Jackson each had matching double doubles with 10 points and 10 rebounds. All six QU three's came in the second half.
The Pioneers are on the road for two more, heading to western Pennsylvania next week. SHU will play at Robert Morris on Thursday, January 17th and at Saint Francis U on Saturday, January 19th.