FAIRFIELD, CT (January 24, 2012) - The Sacred Heart men's basketball team shot a blistering 60.0 percent (33-55) and got a pair of 20-point games from senior Shane Gibson (Killingly, CT) and sophomore Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) on the way to dealing the Bryant Bulldogs their first Northeast Conference loss of the season, 87-76, Thursday night in the William H. Pitt Center. The Pioneers end an eight-game Bryant winning streak with the win and improve to 5-2 in the NEC.
The Pioneers (7-11, 5-2 NEC) move to within a game of the first place Bulldogs (13-5, 6-1 NEC) with the win. Offensively, the Pioneers scored a season-high 87 points while enjoying their best shooting night of the season. Gibson continued his torrid scoring pace in NEC games (24.3 ppg), scoring 26 points, his sixth-straight 20-point effort.
Gibson hit four three's on the night but Glowiak did him one better on his way to a 21 point evening. Glowiak finished five-of-10 from behind the arc as the Pioneers matched their season-high with 10 three-point makes (10 vs. Lehigh & CCSU). Junior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) made it three Pioneers in double figures with 16 points while sophomore Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) just missed a double double with nine points and a career-high 11 assists.
The two teams set a break neck pace right from the get go as the Pioneers took an early 14-8 lead. The Bulldogs tied the game at 22-22 and thanks to a 10-0 run, led 30-22 at 8:38 when a Dyami Stakrs three found it's mark. The Pioneerse quickly answered and with three's by Glowiak and Gibson, tied the game at 30-30 just three minutes later.
Starks would give Bryant the lead back at 32-30 but that would their final lead of the night as Glowiak drilled another three and SHU closed the half outscoring the Bulldogs 14-7 for a 44-39 lead at the break. SHU freshman De'Aires Tate (Lathonia, GA) drilled a jumper with four seconds left to cap an 18-of-31 shooting half for the Pioneers.
SHU just got better in the second half, hitting 15-of-24 (.625) from the field. Gibson scored 15 of his 26 in the second half as the Pioneers pushed their lead to double digits with an 11-5 run to get things started. Glowiak's fourth three of the night gave SHU a 67-50 lead at 11:34 and Gibson's fourth put the Pioneers up 72-56 with 8:11 left.
Glowiak finished off his long range shooting with his fifth triple at 5:45 to give the Pioneers their biggest lead of the night at 79-59. The Bulldogs used a late run to cut the lead down to 10 with 1:18 left but SHU went eight-of-nine at the free throw line over the final minute and change to leave no doubt.
The Bulldogs got a game-high 28 points from Starks who was 10-of-20 and five-of-10 from three in the loss. Bryant came in the last unbeaten team in the NEC at 6-0 and have now lost four-straight to the Pioneers.
SHU dominated on the glass, 37-23, and scored 11 points in transition. The Pioneers had seven blocks defensively led by senior Nick Greenbacker (Coventry, CT) who turned away four Bulldog shots.
The Pioneers are back at home on Saturday night when they play host to the Monmouth Hawks. The game will be televised live on MSG Plus2 at 7:00 pm.